Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has branded the last number of days surrounding the future of and funding announcement for two out of the three Donegal Community Hospitals as “a complete debacle of the Governments own creating.”
The West Donegal TD said is now clear and evident that there was no funding announcement and what is more concerning it now transpires that the plan for all three Hospitals will not be complete for another 6 to 8 weeks.
“This is a shameful episode in cynical political electioneering on the part of the Government.”
He added “I have spoken directly over the past number of days with officials from the HSE concerning this what can only be called a ” ghost grant announcement ” by the Minister of State Joe Mc Hugh.
“I met with the HSE, along with all other Donegal Oireachtas members just two weeks ago – it was always clear that no funding was even applied for by the HSE, nor had HIQA been consulted on the matter of the future of the three Hospitals – Stranorlar, Ramelton and Lifford.
Pat the Cope stated “What we have seen and witnessed over the past number of days has been nothing short of scandalous and an embarrassment, a Government Minister of State announcing funding for two Hospitals ; Stranorlar and Ramelton which was a non existent grant approval and furthermore the effective closure of a third Hospital in Lifford ,all based on a plan which is not even completed by the HSE or even lodged for funding approval nor has it obtained HIQA sanction.
“The Donegal Deputies were informed recently by the HSE that “preliminary reports were being prepared and that drawing and sketches were not finalised”. The Minister of State’s actions have completely eroded confidence in the process which is still underway. The current situation stems from a Government announcement of January 2016, and until such time as that decision to close the long term bed capacity of all three Hospitals is reversed then no certainty can be assured on the long term future of these Hospitals especially in a post 2018 context.”
Deputy Gallagher called on the Minister for Health to intervene and restore confidence to this process and immediately guarantee the long-term future of long term stay beds and a complete restoration of full services to all three community Hospitals.
“I am particularly calling on the HSE to clarify the situation regarding Lifford as the last number of days has completely destroyed the future prospects of their Hospital and left them in limbo.
“Community Hospitals play a key and essential role in the medical care and well-being of the citizens of Donegal and nothing short of full restoration of Staff levels, services within the Hospitals and the retention of long stay beds will satisfy the communities affected. I am impressing on the HSE to immediately bring clarity on their intentions regarding Lifford Community Hospital- as the Mc Hugh announcement has been totally destructive of their future hopes for their Community Hospital.
“I remain fully committed to the complete and full restoration of all three Hospitals and their full services to be restored for their respective communities. I will be calling on the Health Minister to address and clarify the issue on the resumption of the Dail,”concluded Pat the Cope.Tags: