SIPTU has called on the National Asset Management Agency to immediately enter serious negotiations with any possible buyers of Mount Carmel Hospital with a view to maintaining it as a going concern.

This follows the appointment on Friday of provisional liquidators to close the hospital, which was described as insolvent.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser Paul Bell said today the union believed there was an opportunity to maintain the hospital as a going concern if agreement could be reached between NAMA and potential purchasers.

Mr Bell said if this could be achieved, the State would save money in terms of redundancy payments for around 300 staff who are set to lose their jobs shortly.

He noted that keeping the hospital open would also help to maintain a large number of beds within the healthcare system.

SITPU representatives are to meet the provisional liquidators tomorrow afternoon.