Council urges action on hospital phone coverage issues

The ongoing issue was raised at the Cavan County Council meeting.

The lack of mobile phone coverage in Cavan General Hospital is to be raised with phone companies and the HSE.

Cavan County Council’s recent monthly meeting heard that patients are having to leave the building to get phone coverage to ring relatives and loved ones.

Cllr Peter McVitty (FG) said visiting restrictions in place due to the pandemic meant many people had to go long periods without seeing family or friends and phones were the only way for them to keep in contact or provide updates:

“It’s a major, major issue. You go there yourself and you see people outside the hospital making phone calls and I think, in this day and age with the modern technology we have, it’s unbelievable to think if you’re in a hospital bed that you can’t make a phone call.”

He raised the issue and urged councillors to back his motion calling for something to be done.

Fianna Fáil’s John Paul Feeley concurred.

“Everyone relies on mobile phones but I think we’re going to have to take it up with the mobile phone companies.”

Other councillors also gave their backing, with Cllr Madeleine Argue (FG) saying coverage in the hospital’s Emergency Department was particularly bad and Cllr Brendan Fay (Ind) saying it has been a long-running issue with little progress.

Fianna Fáil’s Sean Smith said, while parts of the facility have coverage, you still see “throngs of people leaving to make calls and they’re serious calls”. He proposed the council also write to the HSE to urge action.

The motion passed with the support of councillors, with letters to be written to hospital management, the HSE and phone providers seeking progress.