Protesters call for retention of services at Navan Hospital

Closing Navan Hospital in Co Meath could result in people dying for lack of medical attention, according to the organisers of a protest taking place in the town later today.

The HSE wants to move emergency services to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth - but those who oppose the move say that unit is already overcrowded, with the second highest trolley count in the State.

About 180,000 people live in Meath.

Chairperson of the Save Navan Hospital Campaign, Sinn Féin TD Peadar Toibín said people would not stand for the unit's closure after the promises they were given.

"Drogheda is experiencing the second-worst trolley count in the State…A couple of weeks ago, 64 people were left on trolleys overnight - that's even before the winter rush starts," he said.

"The Government parties made promises in 2011 that there would be no A&E reductions in Navan until there is a new regional hospital built in the area."

He added that: "Senior medical professionals have gone as far as to say that cuts in the area will lead to increased mortality rates."

Protestors will gather at 1pm at the Enterprise Centre, Trim Rd, before marching through town to Pairc Táilteain for speeches.

Last week, more than 10,000 people marched through Waterford city in protest at a proposed downgrading of Waterford Regional Hospital.

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