Deputy Pearse Doherty has reacted angrily to confirmation from the HSE that formal approval to commence recruitment to fill a Senior Dietician Post in Donegal has not yet been granted, despite the position having been sanctioned as part of the HSE Service Plan for 2016.
The confirmation comes following a Dáil Question tabled by Deputy Doherty in which he called on the Minister for Health to give a timeframe for when he expected that the position would be filled.
The HSE has now confirmed that the formal notification needed to begin recruiting for the vacancy has not yet been given, meaning that the recruitment process has not yet got underway.
Deputy Doherty said “A total of 36 posts were sanctioned under the HSE’s Service Plan for 2016 as part of the implementation of the Government’s Diabetes Cycle of Care Programme which began late last year.
“These posts included community based diabetes nurse specialists, podiatrists and dieticians, and Donegal was to receive one of these Senior Dietician posts as part of these plans.
“However, following months of patients having seen little or no progress in relation to this post being filled, I immediately raised the issue with the Health Minister and I demanded that he give a timeframe for when he expected that this position would be successfully recruited.
“I have now received confirmation from the HSE that despite the fact that 18 Dieticians had been approved by the HSE across the state in order to support the Diabetes Cycle of Care Initiative, the formal notification from the Primary Care Division which is required to commence recruitment has still not be administered.
“This means that even though the Programme to improve services for Type 2 Diabetes sufferers commenced in October last year, this positions, which has been identified as being required in order to implement the service here in Donegal, has yet to be filled.
“In essence, not only is the post still vacant, but the formal notification needed to begin recruitment has not even been given yet.
“Diabetes patient advocacy groups are naturally extremely concerned that this post hasn’t been filled, particularly here in Donegal where groups estimate that there are over 8,000 people living with diabetes, and they claim that many patients are not receiving sufficient care at present.
“Patients have informed me that GPs delivering the Cycle of Care programme in Donegal are also extremely frustrated because they are unable to refer high risk patients to more specialised services, because there is no Dietician in place to treat referrals within the County.
“At a time when there has been a significant increase in the prevalence of diabetes across this state, particularly Type 2 Diabetes, it is simply not good enough that treatment and symptom management is being left solely in the hands of primary practitioners.
“In the coming days, I will once again be demanding answers from the Minister and an explanation as to why a Senior Dietician has yet to be recruited to serve Diabetes patients here in Donegal who clearly deserve better than what they are currently receiving in order to meet their long term care requirements.”Tags: