The Government and senior HSE management have delayed the decision on funding the reopening of the 19-bed Short Stay Ward at Letterkenny Hospital until October – another seven months away.
Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn has described the news as “shameful”.
He said “My party and I put a direct question to the Minister on when he and his senior officials will release the necessary funding to re-open this 19-bed ward and take the pressure of the nurses and doctors struggling to cope every day with what is a permanent overcrowding crisis at the hospital.
“Last year, almost 5,000 of our people found themselves on trolleys at our major county hospital due to this crisis, the highest numbers since records began.
“Rather than answer the question himself, the question was answered by the management of Letterkenny Hospital. Their response reiterates that they have applied for over €1.8 million in funding for the staff and works required to reopen the ward.
“Their application is based on historical activity data over the last two years that shows a deficit of on average, 20 beds in order to address the overcrowding crisis at the hospital. They confirm that the decision will not be made until October, seven months away. This is frankly shameful”.
The Sinn Fein Senator says he has raised this issue repeatedly since I learned of the funding application last year as have other public representatives in Donegal.
He added “We have yet to get a straight answer from the Minister and the Government as to why they have not provided the necessary funding. Now they hope to kick the can down the road until October.
“The people of Donegal can see these evasions and this indifference clearly. The Minister can run be can’t hide on this hugely important issue. He needs to step up and sort out the funding”.Tags: