The issue of the future of long stay accommodation units and the removal of other services from three Donegal Community Hospitals will be discussed in the Dáil this evening/
The topical motion relating to St Joseph’s Community Hospital Stranorlar, Ramelton Community Hospital and Lifford Community Hospital was brought forward by Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher and Deputy Pearse Doherty separately and will be debated this evening in the Dáil.
This motion follows on from an extremely well attended meeting in Ballybofey last weekend.
Over 550 people took time out to attend this public meeting and express their anger and frustration regarding the manner in which this decision was taken and how it will affect their communities.
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher, Leas Cheann Comhairle, stated the current situation in terms of the future of the three hospitals is ‘totally unacceptable’.
He said: “Time and time again we have witnessed Governments statements issued on this matter which were subsequently proved to misleading or just completely inaccurate.
“The original decision to downgrade and remove long stay accommodation from the three hospitals in January 2016 was a political decision , that decision must be rescinded immediately.
“A plan for all three hospitals which all parties and communities can buy into must be put in place by the Government and HSE allowing for full restoration of long stay accommodation beds and services with appropriate staffing within a period of two years.
“It is evident that the communities which these three hospitals serve will accept nothing less.
“These three hospitals serve a key and pivotal role in their respective communities and it is only right and proper that the state provide the necessary support and investment in these hospitals.
“It is just not acceptable that Government representatives are acting as if they are third party stand-bys in making decisions concerning the futures of these hospitals.
“This is a political decision which was taken by the previous Fine Gael Government to downgrade these hospitals originally, it will now take a political decision to reverse or rescind that decision in order to safe guard the Hospitals in the future.
“There has been too many false dawns and too much fake news on the part of the Government concerning these community hospitals, it is now time for action and clarity and that is what I will be seeking from the Minister in the course of tonight’s discussion.”