Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has confirmed that funding for the opening of the 19 bed short stay unit at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) will form part of the demands by Fianna Fáil to facilitate the passing of the Budget next week.
The Donegal Deputy said that over the past year we have witnessed almost on a daily basis chronic overcrowding at LUH, with full capacity protocols being exercised time and time again.
The hospital needs €1.7 million to reopen the unit.
He added “We have witnessed record numbers of patients on trolleys or waiting for prolonged periods to gain admission to the hospital – this can no longer continue.
“It is self-evident that urgent action needs to be taken in order to provide additional capacity at the hospital to meet the growing demands on services otherwise we are going to experience a chaotic winter in the hospital.”
Pat the Cope added that last month he challenged the Taoiseach to visit the hospital while he was on tour in the constituency.
“Unfortunately he did not see fit to do so nor has his Government seen fit since 2016 to answer the numerous requests to open the short stay unit at the Hospital or to increase the funding to meet the ever-increasing demands placed on the hospital.
“Since 2016 his Government has failed to act and has completely failed LUH and the people of Donegal in providing the necessary levels of health care at our only general hospital which serves the entire county.”
He added that it is now necessary to put an ultimatum to the Government and the Taoiseach to properly fund the hospital and provide the extra capacity, or face the consequences of a strained and achromous passing of the Budget.
“In August last, party Leader Micheal Martin paid a courtesy call on the Hospital along with my constituency colleague Charlie Mc Conalogue on that occasion he gave a commitment that he would be raising the issue of the hospital at the highest level,” said Pat the Cope.
He added that unless we can obtain funding to open this short stay unit at the hospital we will face a winter of discontent and further record level overcrowding at LUH.
He said “Last year I called on the HSE and the Minister for Health to conduct a full review of the hospital staffing numbers, capacity and funding levels.
“But, the Government turned a deaf ear to this request, nothing I believe short of demanding within the terms of the Confidence and Supply arrangement will make this Government waken up to the crises which we experience on a weekly basis at LUH, I wish to compliment the party for the solidarity they have shown to me in demanding that this crisis be addressed as part of our budget negotiations.
“In particular, I wish to pay tribute to our party spokesperson Stephen Donnelly who has been extremely supportive of LUH and this proposal. This is the best possible opportunity we have of solving this ongoing crisis at Letterkenny University Hospital, which as we all know has greatly deteriorated and worsened over the past 3 years concluded Pat the Cope.Tags: