THE HSE spent almost €300,000 for chaplaincy services in Donegal over the last two years.
A mixture of full-time and part-time clergy from multiple religious denominations provide services alongside lay chaplains at Letterkenny University Hospital and Donegal Hospice.
The cost of chaplaincy services in Donegal in 2020 was €150,926, up from €146,312 in 2019, the HSE has confirmed to Donegal Daily. The total cost for the services in Donegal over the last two years was €297,238.
According to the HSE, gross pay on chaplaincy services in Ireland in 2019 was €2.51m and the figure was €2.44m in 2020.
In 2016, a new chaplaincy council was established by the HSE’s Patient Advocacy Division under the stewardship of Mr Greg Price.
The HSE at the time said it was working closely with a range of faith and non-faith based chaplains.
Then, the HSE said that its research showed the benefits of the inclusion of chaplaincy and pastoral care, adding: ‘Demographic changes also mean that pastoral care needs to have an emphasis on spiritual support if it is to respond to patients of other faith traditions or those with secular beliefs.