Pat the Cope Gallagher has called on the Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly to give the necessary approval to the HSE to relax the recruitment embargo on employment at Dungloe community hospital.
Dungloe hospital is obliged to reduce their number of beds by a further 4 in addition to the recent reduction of 6 beds.
The HSE has confirmed that the reduction is necessary in order to comply with the staff patient ratio as laid down by HIQA (Health Information and Quality Authority), thus ensuring patients safety.
Pat the Cope said today that “Dungloe hospital maintains the highest standards due to the commitment and dedication of its entire staff since its establishment in 1958”.
“The Minster recently opened the €500,000 extension to the hospital which includes 4 single high dependency ensuite rooms and a patient’s day room. In addition a garden area was provided for the patients and financed by local fund raising. It makes little sense if the HSE has now to reduce the bed capacity while there are many nurses unemployed and available to replace those who have retired or on leave due to maternity or illness.”
Pat the Cope further said: “Dungloe hospital should be used to its full capacity and continue to provide facilities for short term, long term and respite patients. Respite care will continue to be provided as will the palliative care facility which was provided with the assistance of local contributions. The west Donegal area including Aranmore has a significant elderly population and their health care needs are therefore greater than other similar areas in the country. The distance from Letterkenny General Hospital must also be taken into consideration.”
Pat the Cope firmly believes that “the answer is in the hands of the Minister and he has an obligation to ensure that Dungloe hospital has the full compliment of staff. Embargos and moratoriums cannot and should not ignore the human factor”.
Pat the Cope has been advised by the HSE that there is no intention to close Dungloe hospital and that it will be used to its full capacity as soon as the staffing levels has been resolved.
Pat the Cope concluded that “while at the official opening last year, the Minister was high in his praise of the hospital and the facilities provided there including primary care, social care, x-ray, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy facilities, actions speak louder than words and the Minister should now do the necessary and allow the HSE to employ replacement staff. It makes no economic sense to reduce the beds”.