Independent TD Thomas Pringle has given a cautious welcome to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly’s planned visit to Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) this week.
However he said the visit must lead to urgent actions that address the concerns of GPs and consultants.
“A meeting isn’t a solution. It should be the start of finding a solution,” Deputy Pringle said.
He also said ‘fair play’ to the GPs and consultants for holding out and pushing for the minister to come to Donegal.
“It’s important that he sees and hears first-hand some of the critical difficulties they face.
“There was a follow-up letter sent last week from consultants that outlined the deficits Letterkenny University Hospital faces and they need to be addressed urgently.”
Deputy Pringle said the deficit of beds in the hospital system is also ‘shocking.’
“Recruitment and retention at Letterkenny University Hospital is an ongoing problem. The funding allocation per patient in Letterkenny is the lowest of any of the hospitals in the Saolta Group as well, despite Letterkenny University Hospital treating nearly 26,000 inpatients in a year. We’re seeing the result of continuous underfunding of the health services by successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments. We need to see the Minister agree to actions that will address these deficits.”