"People in County Wicklow are angry and concerned about the disgraceful deterioration in hospital services available to residents of the county" says Independent councillor and general election candidate Joe Behan.
"The closure of acute hospital services in Loughlinstown has added huge pressure to the A&E in St.Vincent's resulting in long delays in being seen and even longer delays in being admitted to the hospital as an inpatient.
"In addition, the closure of two HSE community nursing homes in recent years has meant that older people have to remain in hospital until suitable private nursing home accommodation is provided. This can take a long time and adds huge stress to the older people and their families.
"We have recently learned that another HSE step down facility serving the west of the county is due to close and this will add a further burden on people in that part of the county.
"The loss of acute cardiac services to the county which had been available in St.Vincent's is another example of an under the radar cut which seriously affects the health and safety of the people of County Wicklow.
"I am also deeply concerned about the lack of a proper service to pancreatic transplant patients whose care had been provided in Beaumont Hospital and which is now uncertain. This is resulting in enormous emotional and physical stress for the patients involved and is yet another example of the need of the ordinary people being ignored by the powers that be.
"I believe we need TD's who will fight these cutbacks whenever they are proposed.
"We need TD's who will speak out and stand up for the needs of the people they are elected to represent.
"We need TD's who will defend the interests of the people of County Wicklow.
"If elected, I will do that job."