There’s no hospice bed available at the West Kerry Community Hospital.
That’s according to Fianna Fáil councillor Breandán Fitzgerald and Fine Gael councillor Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald, who raised concerns about the hospital at the recent council meeting.
Ospidéal Pobal Chorca Dhuibhne opened in 2008 and was granted €16.4 million in funding to deliver services for West Kerry, including 68 beds.
However, both councillors say it never reached its full potential and are calling for action to rectify this.
Cllr Breandán Fitzgerald is calling on the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to make it a priority to open all beds at West Kerry Community Hospital.
He tabled a motion at the Kerry County Council meeting, and says locals who need respite must leave the area until a bed becomes available and stated the hospice bed has been removed from the hospital.
Cllr Breandán Fitzgerald stated just 40 beds are currently being used, and says people locally fear it’ll be downgraded; he’s calling for all beds to be opened and for the original plan for the West Kerry hospital to be implemented.
Fine Gael councillor Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald echoed his concerns, stating a man who lived in West Kerry was recently sent to Cahersiveen for care when he was dying.
He stated it was very sad and deplorable to see a family having to travel a 50 mile round trip to spend time with their loved one in his last few days of life.
Cllr Fitzgerald said a bed should have been available for this man in his local hospital.
In December 2021, the then Taoiseach Mícheál Martin stated the Government would work with the HSE to see what could be done to expand services at the West Kerry Community Hospital.