Donegal Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has criticised Government policy following the publication of annual waiting list figures from Letterkenny Unversity Hospital in 2017.
Speaking following the publication of the INMO annual trolley watch report, the Sinn Féin Senator has described the numbers of patients on trolleys throughout 2017 as a “damning indictment of Government failure”.
There were 4889 patients awaiting admission on trolleys or on additional beds in wards at Letterkenny University Hospital last year, the highest ever annual numbers since INMO records began. The total was was an increase from 2047 in 2016.
Senator Mac Lochlainn today expressed his shock at the figures, highlighting a ‘systemic neglect’ and need for change.
He said: “These numbers are truly shocking and they are the result of the intentional Government policy of cuts and recruitment embargoes over the years. They are a damning indictment of Government failure and a damning indictment of the “confidence and supply” deal between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. A bad deal for Donegal.
“Last year, myself and Deputy Pearse Doherty published a report, The Need to Invest In Letterkenny University Hospital. We clearly demonstrated the neglect of our major county hospital and the funding discrimination ongoing for years. We presented Sinn Féin’s policies for a change to all of this and for fairness but the clear evidence is that this Government, supported by Fianna Fáil, still have no plan to tackle this scandal“.
“And the crisis in Donegal’s health service extends well beyond the confines of Letterkenny University Hospital. One in eight of our people across Donegal, almost 20,000 men, women and children, are on hospital waiting lists.
“This systematic neglect also extends to our community hospitals from Carndonagh to Ballyshannon with one in three nurses and one in four beds cut from that primary care system, piling even more pressure on Letterkenny University Hospital.
“The crisis in our health service is not accidental. It is the inevitable outworking of Government policy and Government failure. There is a better and fairer way. It is about a level of investment in beds and staff across our public health system over the next number of years that reflects and reverses the years of neglect and cutbacks.
“It is about honesty with the people of Ireland that we have choices. We can choose to cut taxes for all, including the wealthy or we can sort out our health system.
“Sinn Féin are clear where we stand. It’s over to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to be honest with the people on where they stand.”Tags: