While the Tallaght may be losing its children’s hospital, for some time there has been a certain amount of disillusionment in the hospital at the Government’s commitment to the agreements made in 1996.The main issue is that of tertiary paediatric care in the hospital and its removal.
There is a deep feeling in Tallaght that this will dismember the hospital. The Minister of State will not need any introduction to the fact that Tallaght has the largest growing child population in the country. It also has the highest number of women of child-bearing age. The threats to the child and maternity care in Tallaght are not just serious for the hospital and its prevalent ethos but also to the are.
Two issues must be addressed in the threat to Tallaght Hospital. First, there is the real threat to medical treatment for people in the area and the dangers of a fall in standards in quality and quantity of medical attention, particularly in child and maternity care.
There is also the danger to the ethics practised at the Tallaght hospital for so long. It is unique in that it protects for minorities the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship which is not practised in other hospitals.
In 1996, the then Government committed to the hospital’s charter and its guarantee of minority rights. The danger now is that it no longer seems to consider the commitment to the guarantee is binding.