Deputy Thomas Pringle has called on the Minister for Health, Saolta and Letterkenny University Hospital management to meet with TDs and local stakeholders to try and address diabetes care issues in the northwest.
Addressing the Dáil yesterday, Deputy Pringle said: “Recent correspondence I had with members of the Donegal branch of Diabetes Ireland has thrown up massive problems that Letterkenny University Hospital and the Saolta Group are having in the recruitment and retention of consultant endocrinologists in the hospital.
He explained that the former Health Minister, Simon Harris, announced a second post in 2017. To date, however, that position has never been filled and the current resident endocrinologist will finish up in the coming weeks.
“From what I can gather, Saolta and the HSE have no plan yet on endocrinology cover and proper governance from July onwards,” Deputy Pringle added.
“Taoiseach, I’ve been consistently raising ongoing issues in diabetes care in the northwest, but nothing has improved. Why are Saolta having such difficulties recruiting people to specialist roles in diabetes care across the north-west region, but particularly in Letterkenny University Hospital?
“I’d ask you, Taoiseach, to ask the Minister, Saolta and LUH to meet with TDs and local stakeholders from the region as a matter of urgency to try and address this issue.”
Deputy Pringle raised the issue during questions on policy or legislation.
In his response, the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said he would make Minister Donnelly aware that Deputy Pringle raised the issue.
The Taoiseach said that recruitment and retention of consultants is a challenge across the country and more so in some parts of the country. He said the new consultant contract offers a salary of a quarter of a million euros a year if people dedicate themselves to public practice, and can still do private practice in their own time.