Reports that cancer patients requiring chemotherapy at Letterkenny University Hospital are being sent to Galway for referrals have been branded as ‘deeply alarming’.
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has received reports that new referrals for patients requiring chemotherapy treatments at Letterkenny University Hospital have been suspended, due to claims that the hospital’s oncology unit has reached full capacity.
Donegal cancer patients are being referred to Galway University Hospital in order to access chemotherapy services, according to reports. It was claimed that only the existing case loads of cancer patients are receiving treatment in Letterkenny.
Deputy Doherty said that a growing number of relatives of cancer patients in Donegal have been raising concerns for their loved ones who are reportedly being referred to Galway as part of their on-going chemotherapy treatment. The families say that hospital officials have informed them that no new referrals are being seen at Letterkenny as the local service has now reached maximum capacity.
Deputy Doherty has said he is seeking clarification for these reports and will be bringing the issue up in the Dail.
“I have this week written to hospital management in Letterkenny, and have asked that they clarify these reports, and as well as asking for a status update in respect of chemotherapy services at LUH, I have also sought information on the alternative arrangements which are in place for Donegal cancer patients should these reports be accurate.
“While I am still awaiting a response from the hospital, I have also tabled a number of Dáil Questions to the Minister for Health this week in relation to this issue, and not only do my questions relate to the queries which I’ve already raised with management, but I am seeking detailed information concerning staffing and vacancy levels at the oncology department and in relation to all personnel involved in the administering of chemotherapy treatments at Letterkenny.
“Clearly, from the number of reports which I have in recent days received from patients and their families, it would be foolish to suggest that there is not some grain of truth to this alarming development.
“Notwithstanding this, and to respect the wishes for anonymity of all those who’ve very bravely contacted me over the last few days, I will continue to pursue and raise this matter with officials in order to get to the full facts of what exactly is occurring at the hospital and what impact any of this may be having on patients during what is an already stressful and worrying time,” he said.Tags: