HSE insists hospital will not close
THE Health Service Executive (HSE) insisted it has no plans to close Merlin Park Hospital in Galway -- despite yesterday's lunchtime protest by staff .
In a statement, the HSE said: "HSE West can state categorically that there are no plans to close Merlin Park Hospital."
SIPTU claimed proposals to "slash jobs" and cut costs would have a dire effect on the reputation of the Galway University hospital.
Patient services were not affected by the protest.
The HSE said it was developing a cost containment plan which would lead to savings and efficiencies because both Merlin Park and University College Hospital Galway are seriously over budget, having treated too many patients already this year.