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DHSS moves to reassure the public that Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital will not be closed 19 October 2006

HEALTH Minister Steve Rodan has moved swiftly to reassure the public that there are NO plans to close Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital following suggestions that this an option under consideration.

Mr Rodan said,

"The Department's position in respect of Ramsey Cottage Hospital has been set out unequivocally by me in the past, and I am happy to do so again. It is not earmarked for closure. Indeed, the Department is not only committed to retaining the hospital but, when possible, to developing further services there”.
“Given the very clear and very public commitment by the Department it is obvious that any suggestion of closure would be ruled out as a complete non-starter”, declared the Minister.

He added,

“I’m afraid this is yet another example of people setting off false alarms about the future of the Cottage Hospital”.

Mr Rodan said current media headlines arose from claims made in Tynwald about the review of DHSS finances carried out for government by Price Waterhouse Cooper [PwC]. He explained:

“PwC were specifically tasked to look very broadly at scope for cost reductions across the whole of the DHSS. Within their early report, setting out a wide range of potential options, was an option giving an indication of the savings that could be made if Ramsey Cottage Hospital were to be closed.
"It is unsurprising that such an option emerged, as PwC were given a free hand to look at all areas of Departmental expenditure and cost. That said, certain options potentially available to the Department were simply untenable because they were inconsistent with the Department's policies and objectives. That is so in this case - the Department has no intention of closing Ramsey Cottage Hospital. Anyone who suggests otherwise is at risk of needlessly alarming the public in the north of the Island.”

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