Deputy Pearse Doherty has reiterated calls for the Government to urgently reopen the 19 bed Short Stay Ward at Letterkenny University Hospital.
Speaking in the Dáil chamber this afternoon, the Donegal TD praised the people of Donegal for getting behind the ongoing dedicated campaign launched by the party to have the ward reopened.
Teachta Doherty said “Minister, I want to raise the issue of overcrowding because we know that last month almost 8,000 injured and sick people were left without a bed [across the state], an increase on the same month last year.
“We know that scandalously thirty of those people were children.
“In my own hospital, Letterkenny University Hospital, it’s often at the top of the list in terms of the number of people lying on trolleys or on chairs time and time again.
“This morning as we speak there are 27 people again lying on trolleys at the hospital.
“And every day last year there were 19 people on average lying on trolleys.”
The Sinn Fein TD described the situation as “scandalous.”
“Minister, what is scandalous is the fact that there is a ward lying empty with 19 beds at the hospital because the government hasn’t provided the necessary resources that hospital management has asked for a year and a half ago.
“Instead, we have patients lying on trolleys as a result.
“Myself and Senator Pádraig MacLochlainn launched a campaign to have the ward reopened, and there has been a huge response to that with thousands of people signing a petition demanding that action is taken.
“They’re demanding that we give dignity to ill people instead of having them lying on a trolley.
“They’re demanding that you open this ward and its 19 beds so that people can be treated properly.
“Minister, I’ve raised this issue time and time again.
“Will you finally make the necessary resources available to open the ward that is there and has been lying empty for some time?
“Will you take patients off trolleys and have them treated in the Short Stay Ward instead?”