Press Release

Ivor Callely, T.D., Minister for Services for Older People visits Cork Facilities

Minister for Services for Older People, Ivor Callely, today (25 July) visited Cork University Hospital, Mercy Hospital and St. Finbarr´s. He told all that his colleague, Micheál Martin, Minister for Health and Children, encouraged him to visit the Southern Capital to see the progress in recent years in the integration and development of services for older people.

The Minister´s first call was to Cork University Hospital to see first hand the acute services for geriatric patients where he informed staff that he was delighted to have the opportunity to visit. This was followed by a visit to Mercy Hospital which has been providing an expanding service for older people over recent years. The Minister moved on to St. Finbarr´s which is long recognised as a premier rehabilitative service provider in the country. (South Infirmary´s facilities are currently under construction).

The visit culminated in a discussion with a number of staff from all four facilities in St. Finbarr´s. Minister Callely told the assembled audience of his delight to have had the opportunity to see the provision of services for older people through the continuum of acute, secondary care and rehabilitation. He reaffirmed that the stated aim of health policy to maintain older people in their own surroundings of family and community for as long as possible. He was very proud to witness services of such a high standard and extremely impressed with the Cork model of service provision through secondary and tertiary care.

He said that he was greatly honoured to accept the Taoiseach´s challenge to “further develop services for older people” which he is determined to do over the course of this government. “Our health policy; Quality and Fairness – A Health System for You will deliver a world class health service and I will ensure that older people will get they services they so richly deserve. There are four national goals in the new health strategy which include better health for all, fair access to services, responsive and appropriate service delivery and high performance; all of which are strongly evident in all the units I have seen today in Cork. I am delighted to have availed of Micheál Martin´s encouragement to visit your facilities and I believe that I have seen the way forward in integrating and delivering appropriate services for older people. I commend everybody involved and acknowledge my colleague’s pride”.

Following a visit to a number of facilities in Clare, Limerick and Cork yesterday the Minister expressed his satisfaction at being able to experience the high quality care in which services are being delivered to older people. He was highly impressed and stated that he had learned so much from his visits which have confirmed to him the need to maintain services for older people at the forefront of government policy.