Fine Gael promised that work would begin on the development of a Rehab Unit at Roscommon University Hospital once the Endoscopy Unit was completed but now, despite the fact that the Minister for Health Simon Harris is officially opening the Endoscopy Unit next week, the funding of almost €6m has not yet been appropriated.
It seems as though the Rehab Unit has been kicked to touch by the HSE, and this is completely unacceptable. Fine Gael’s own local Senator Frank Feighan has expressed his disappointment that there is no indication that funding is going to be allocated any time in the near future.
The project is included in the 2016-2021 Capital Program but I fear that should the project not get the go ahead in the lifetime of this government, a changed political landscape could result in the project being delayed into the next decade. The opening of the Endoscopy Unit must be welcomed, and recognised as a positive development for the hospital and the county. The momentum enjoyed now must be maintained, and this Rehab Unit project allocated the required funding in next years programme.
The people of Roscommon have been let down in the past, and we as public representatives cannot allow that to happen again. Ministers can no longer hide behind the HSE or their departments, and action is required now. In addition to this being a service for the people of Roscommon, the Rehab Unit will act as a satellite unit for the NRH, and save hundreds of people from all over the midlands and west having to travel to Dublin during a very difficult time in their lives.
I am calling on the Minister Harris give a commitment on this matter and those from the constituency who are part of Government and those (including Fianna Fail) who are supporting the government on an ongoing basis must stand up and be counted now.