Home News Laois doctors upbeat after ministerial meeting on Portlaoise hospital

Laois doctors upbeat after ministerial meeting on Portlaoise hospital

Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise

A member of the delegation of Laois consultants and GPs said they were upbeat following a “productive meeting” on the future of Portlaoise hospital with Minister Simon Harris this evening.

“He told us that he was still keeping an open mind,” Dr Sean Montague said.

A delegation of five GPs and three consultants met Minister Harris at the meeting which went on for over an hour and was attended by Minister Charlie Flanagan at Government Buildings.

“Minister Harris was very aware of the demographics of Laois and south Kildare. He was aware of the rapidly growing population and the age profile. Portlaoise is growing faster than anywhere else in the country and he acknowledged this rapidly growing population and the growth that is expected,” Dr Montague said.

The future healthcare needs of the population, taking into account its age profile, was also acknowledged by the Minister for Health.

The group felt that this was a very positive aspect of the meeting.

“It was a very productive meeting and we felt that Minister Harris listened to our point of view and took on board our concerns. He said there isn’t any final decision made on the future of the hospital,” Dr Montague said.

Minister Harris was also very well-briefed on the alternative plan on the future for the hospital put forward by the GP and consultant grouping.

It was also made clear to the group that despite media reports, there was no “fait accompli” on the future of the hospital and “there is no decision at this stage,” Dr Montague said.

There was no mention or discussion on a report on the proposed future of the hospital which has been with the Department of Health for a number of months.

“We made our case in the strongest possible terms,” Dr Montague said.

He added that the five GPs who attended by meeting were representing the 70s GPs in Laois and surrounding areas, while the consultants were representing the consultants from the region.

The views put forward by the delegation were ones that have been formulated through a number of discussions and MIDOC meetings.


Dr Montague felt there were a number of positive moves recently including the appointment of consultants at Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise, including the A&E Department.

In recent weeks it was announced that two new Consultant Obstetricians, linked with Coombe Hospital, will now be available to Portlaoise while two Neonatologists, linked with Dublin, have also been hired.

Two temporary Emergency Department Consultants have also come on board, with further appointments to be made shortly.

It was also anticipated that the HSE will be advertising soon for two Radiologists – one new post and one replacement.

The creation of two physician posts for the new Medical Assessment Unit is also expected.

Minister Harris also gave an undertaking to meet with the doctors’ group at a later date.

“It’s fair to say that we did come out of the meeting quite upbeat. We are very grateful to Minister Harris for holding the meeting and to Minister Flanagan for organising it,” Dr Montague said.

SEE ALSO – Boost for Portlaoise hospital as key positions filled


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A journalist for over 20 years, David has worked for a number of regional titles both as journalist and editor. From Tullamore he also works as a content editor for Independent.ie. His heroes include Shane Lowry, Seamus Darby and Johnny Flaherty