Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty called today for a multi-annual plan to expand capacity and increase staff numbers at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH).
He was speaking after figures released to the party showed more than 1,000 appointments were cancelled by LUH in the first four months of the year.
“Hospital overcrowding has become an endemic part of our health service, not least at Letterkenny University Hospital,” Deputy Doherty said.
“This is despite the hard work of staff, who at all times put the interests of their patients first. Last year, over 7,000 patients went without a bed at LUH – the worst year for overcrowding at the hospital on record. This should come as no surprise.”
At the beginning of this year, added Deputy Doherty, the Chief Executive of the Saolta Hospital Group made known that they had not received a single additional bed in the past three years.
“In the first week of this month, patients reported lengthy waiting times at the Emergency Department of the hospital,” he said.
“In that week, we heard representatives of nurses and midwives claim that Letterkenny University Hospital needed an additional 60 members of staff to respond to patients’ needs.”
Figures released this week to Sinn Fein’s health spokesperson show more than 85,000 hospital appointments were cancelled in the first four months of this year across the State.
“When we talk about waiting times and cancelled appointments, we are talking about more than a nuisance to patients forced to wait,” he continued.
“We are talking about delayed diagnoses, the development of further complications that would not have happened had patients been treated when they needed to be. We are talking about life and death – and the fact is that patients are dying, in my county, in the North West, as a result. The situation at LUH is unacceptable – it is failing to meet the needs of the people of Donegal and of staff.”Tags: