A DONEGAL TD has appealed to the government and the HSE to end what he calls ‘funding discrimination’ against Letterkenny University Hospital
Sinn Féin TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn was speaking after publishing data that he has received following a range of parliamentary questions to the Minister for Health.
The data reveals that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, LUH had the sixth highest number of inpatients of any hospital in the State at over 24,000.
Despite this, LUH ranks only 13th for budget allocations, 14th for their numbers of consultants and 12th for their numbers of nurses and midwives.
The top six funded hospitals in the State, located in Dublin, Cork and Galway all receive from two to three times the annual budget of Letterkenny University Hospital.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “The blatant funding discrimination against our county’s major hospital and indeed, against the people of Donegal continues. This data that I am publishing is irrefutable evidence of that discrimination.
“While it is accepted that some of the hospitals in Dublin, Cork and Galway have additional national responsibilities in terms of health specialties such as neurology, cardio, and cancer care and therefore would be expected to have a higher budget per inpatient than Letterkenny Hospital, the huge gaps in funding, and the numbers of consultants and nurses and midwives just can not be explained or justified.
“I have raised this discrimination along with my party colleagues in Donegal in the years before the pandemic and the government and the HSE refused to act.
“We will continue to publish evidence of this discrimination and what we regard to be a scandal that has serious health impacts on families across this county. There are now over 20,000 people on the Letterkenny hospital waiting list. This willful neglect also puts impossible pressure on the doctors and nurses who work at Letterkenny University Hospital.”
Deputy Mac Lochlainn has challenged the Minister for Health and the government to make an ‘urgent statement’ in response to the evidence ‘and to outline to the people of Donegal what they are going to do about it, starting from the upcoming budget next month’.Tags: