The long stay residential care services are to be retained at St Joseph’s and Ramelton Community Hospitals with both units to be refurbished.
The declaration was made at a meeting held earlier today between HSE officials, the Minister for Health and a delegation from the ‘Save Our St Joseph’s Hospital Action Group.’
It comes after years of uncertainty over the future of long-stay beds at the facilities
A previous Government announcement in 2016 had outlined plans to replace the hospitals with a new nursing unit in Letterkenny.
However, there are now calls on the Minister to engage with the community in Lifford to examine sensible proposals to ensure the continuation of community based care in the town.
Deputy Pearse Doherty said he welcomed the news but insisted that Lifford Hospital must also be saved.
He said “I very much welcome the outcome of today’s meeting between the Minister, the HSE and the Save Our St Joseph’s Hospital committee whereby it was finally confirmed that the government has decided to do a u-turn on its plans to remove long stay beds from St Joseph’s and Ramelton Community Hospitals.
“Today’s confirmation has been a long time coming and the uncertainty surrounding these services at both hospitals has been the source of much anxiety and fear amongst the local communities in question.
“This awful situation has been squarely down to the inaction of this government and the misinformation which has emanated from the cabinet ever since government plans to replace these beds were first announced in 2016.
“Since then, the passionate campaigning which these communities have displayed in opposition to the plans to remove these local services has been nothing short of tremendous.
“Today’s U-turn therefore is to be very much welcomed and I must again praise and commend the people of Ballybofey, Stranorlar and Ramelton for how they have conducted themselves throughout this entire episode.
“Likewise, the people of Lifford too have shown great strength of character and endurance and they too deserve to be given certainty over the fate of community based care in the town which still remains an unknown.
“I am therefore calling on the Minister for Health to work constructively with the local community there and examine sensible proposals which can best ensure the continuation of care in Lifford.
“I now intend to continue to help and work closely with them so that these community health services can be readily accessed by future generations going forward.”Tags: