Deputy Seamus Healy has told the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Leo Varadkar to keep their hands off the Emergency Department at South Tipperary General Hospital.

Cuts to services at South Tipperary General Hospital must not be allowed become a political football within Fine Gael between Taoiseach Kenny and Minister Varadkar.

A Document leaked from the HSE states that one of the measures which may be necessary due to budgetary cuts is the closure of several A&E services between 8 in the evening and 8 in the morning. These include the A&E service at South Tipperary General Hospital.

This would be completely unacceptable. It would amount to the effective denial of health services to those living outside the larger cities, a vicious form of discrimination. After dark, the nearest A&E services would be situated in Limerick, Cork and Waterford. Indeed the A&E service should also be restored to Nenagh General Hospital.

We have had enough health and hospital cuts, far too many in fact.

South Tipperary General Hospital Budget has been cut by almost 25% or €11million over the last few years and it has lost over 100 staff.

This year, 2014, has seen a further €1.7 million cut to the budget.

Over the same period, activity at the hospital and patient numbers has increased significantly and the hospital is operating at 120% capacity on an on-going basis.

The hospital has been put under severe pressure: staff are working above and beyond the call of duty and despite their best efforts are struggling to provide a safer service.

Deputy Healy has called on all Government Oireachtas Members in County Tipperary, Ministers, T.D.’s and Senators to ensure a full Accident and Emergency Department Service is maintained at South Tipperary General Hospital.