Minister of State Joe McHugh has confirmed to Donegal Daily that the restoration of an outreach clinic in Letterkenny is now deemed feasible by the West / N. W. Hospital Group on the appointment of a third Consultant Rheumatologist.
He now wants a locum appointed as soon as possible if a permanent consultant can’t be found straight away.
“I welcome confirmation from the Department of Health that the restoration of an outreach clinic in Letterkenny has now been deemed feasible by the West / N. W. Hospital Group,” the Donegal TD told us.
“Progress of the clinic will be based on the appointment of a third rheumatologist consultant and this appointment is included on the Agenda ahead of the Group’s November meeting.
“Following that meeting, the application will need to be submitted to the Consultants Appointment Unit for consideration and approval and then to the National Recruitment Service for completion of the recruitment/selection process, which I have been advised can take up to 12 months.
“This is a very positive development for the people of Donegal who suffer from this debilitating disease and who, since September 2010, have been forced to travel to places like Manorhamilton, which had the benefit of a singular specialised service, but has the obvious disadvantage of travel time, and costs, for the patient.
“In the interim, securing a locum has been considered and I will be seeking clarity around the viability of this option, as well as any decisions made at the November meeting.”