Sinn Féin Deputy Pearse Doherty has demanded that the Government opens a purpose-built maternity theatre at Letterkenny University Hospital amid claims it has not been used since its construction.
Deputy Doherty’s comments come as part of an ongoing campaign by Sinn Féin to have the facility finally commissioned after it was revealed last year that the unit has been lying idle since the year 2000.
He said it is ‘simply ludicrous’ that a fifth unit has never been used, and outlined his intentions to raise the matter with the Health Minister in Dail Eireann this week.
Deputy Doherty said: “Many people will remember the shocking revelation made last year when it was confirmed to me that the bespoke maternity theatre built as part of the redevelopment of Letterkenny hospital’s renal dialysis block has never been used, despite having been constructed in 2000.
“It was claimed by management that the reason why the facility was never opened is due to it never having been resourced following its completion, and so the facility was never commissioned for use.”
Deputy Doherty explained that LUH has four operational in-patient theatres, yet only three of them are used on a regular basis as the fourth operating room must be kept free for emergency caesarean sections.
He said: “The failure to resource and commission this bespoke facility effectively means that while the hospital has a total of five in-patient operating rooms, only three are in regular use, the fourth is used only in emergencies, while the fifth has never been used.
“It is simply unbelievable to think that while waiting lists grow and demand for operations and procedures are at an all-time high the hospital has a purpose built maternity theatre on site which has been lying idle since 2000 – it’s simply ludicrous.
“Ever since this situation first came to light, my colleague Senator MacLochlainn and I included the disused maternity suite in our discussion document on Letterkenny hospital published last year in which we highlighted the need to urgently invest in the hospital and its facilities.
“And Sinn Féin has continued to focus on this issue, which is why we initiated this campaign demanding that the theatre be commissioned and opened for women to have procedures carried out.
“I now intend to step up this campaign as this week in the Dáil I will be again calling on the Minister for Health to make the necessary funding and resources available to the hospital in order to finally have this badly needed facility commissioned and operational.”Tags: