Reilly urged to honour hospital bed commitment

Build4Life founder Joe Browne.
Build4Life founder Joe Browne.

Marisa Reidy

A KERRY TD is calling on Health Minister Dr James Reilly to honour the commitment given to Castleisland-based charity Build4Life that eight beds would be ring fenced for Cystic Fibrosis patients at Cork University Hospital's proposed 20-bed respiratory ward.

A bitter row has erupted between the charity and the HSE after the health authority reneged on a commitment to provide the dedicated CF beds in the ward which the charity is fully funding.

Build4Life founder Joe Browne is refusing to hand over €2.3 million for Ward 5B until management sign a contract that will set aside eight, single-bed rooms solely for CF patients. This was the specific condition on which Build4Life agreed to foot the entire bill for the respiratory ward in the first place.

South Kerry Independent TD Tom Fleming is now calling on the Health Minister to intervene in the dispute to ensure the commitment made to the charity is fully honoured.

He said Minister Reilly needs to take into consideration the fact that Build4Life has fundraised €2.3 million for a CF unit and says it would be 'an absolute outrage' if the funds raised by this voluntary group are not invested in the specific project for which they were intended.

Mr Browne, meanwhile, says that Build4Life has a moral and legal obligation to CF adults and to the public who helped raise the funds to ensure these beds are ring-fenced.

He insisted he will not be "bullied" into handing over money unless he receives a written guarantee that the CF beds will be provided as originally planned.


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