Call for review of Regional Health Forum meeting procedures

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galway daily news cllr declan kelly loughrea

Loughrea councillor Declan Kelly has called on Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to review the Western Regional Health Forum’s meeting procedures.

The Independent councillor said that the Forum’s recent refusal to note comments made by Cllr Dr Evelyn Parsons on behalf of the Loughrea Day Care Centre campaign raises concerns that the Forum has become a “talking shop where HSE officials decide the narrative”.

He said that any situation where standing orders are given precedence over the best interests and the good of the many, one has to seriously question whether the entity which is served by those standing orders has any point in existing.

“I am convinced that this is the case with the Western Regional Health Forum,” said Cllr Kelly.

“At their most recent meeting, Independent Cllr Dr Evelyn Parsons attempted to have recorded comments on behalf of efforts to reopen the purpose-built Day Care Centre in Loughrea, but was told that she could not do so because of the Forum’s standing orders.”

“Therefore, the Forum’s standing orders are being given more significance than the wishes of the more than 2,500 people who have appended their names to a petition to reopen the facility.”

Cllr Kelly said that they are effectively being told that a few health officials and politicians know what’s best for people, and that they know this without even needing to consult with the people who use the service.

“Cllr Dr Parsons is a highly respected medical professional and a very hard-working public representative.

“Despite that, Cllr Dr Parsons has stated that she felt ‘beaten down’ when attempting to speak on behalf of the Day Care Centre at the Forum’s most recent meeting.”