Text of Letter from ALICE LEAHY which appeared in THE IRISH TIMES on Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Re: Peamount Hospital

Dear Madam

The apparent downgrading of Peamount Hospital as the only national referral centre for tuberculosis is incomprehensible at a time when the disease is beginning to prove resistant to the treatments available.

Over the years we have referred many people who are homeless to Peamount and are acutely aware of the important role the hospital plays in treating TB – a disease we cannot be complacent about. The difficulty for some in accessing services in overcrowded acute hospitals is well documented – a problem it should be emphasised that is even more serious for the people we meet everyday.

Given the virulence of the modern strains of TB I do hope the downgrading of Peamount may not turn out like the story of the original Harcourt Street railway line. How much energy, time and money could have been saved if something perfectly efficient and useful had remained open? More seriously in this case, are we playing with people lives by not thinking through the full implications of this decision?

Yours sincerely

Alice Leahy
Director and Co-Founder