An Erris Senator has responded to assurances given by Minister for Older People Jim Daly and Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring in relation to Belmullet District Hospital.

Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly told the Dail yesterday evening that Belmullet District Hospital will not be downgraded under his watch.

It came as concerns over the facility and Aras Deirbhle were raised by Fianna Fail Deputy Leader, Mayo TD Dara Calleary yesterday on a Topical Issue.

Minister Daly said that there will be no downgrading of facilities for older people while he is in office and that includes Belmullet.

However he said he cannot stand over staff being allocated to empty beds if that is proven to be the case.

Minister Daly has also confirmed that he will visit the hospital at the end of this month, or in the very early days of July.

The assurances from Minister Daly were welcomed this morning by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring. He says that it is a case of some people trying to make political gain out of a situation that is simply not happening.  

However Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh told Midwest News that the responses from Minister Daly and Minister Ring were not adequate and questions remain unanswered.

She says she wants to know if there will be 20 beds in place at Belmullet District Hospital at the end of this process and also why GPs cannot make referrals to the hospital and further to that, why referrals cannot be made from the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital to Belmullet.

Senator Conway-Walsh outlined her remaining concerns to Midwest News this lunchtime.


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