Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has accused the Government of failing to meet a commitment on dermatology services at Letterkenny General Hospital. Despite assurances that dermatology services would resume at the hospital at the beginning of September, patients are still waiting for these clinics to be restored.
Deputy McConlaogue explained, “The dermatology service in Letterkenny is provided by two visiting consultants- one from Sligo and one from Altnagelvin. However the Sligo consultant was moved back to Sligo at the beginning of the summer because of escalating waiting lists there and patients from Donegal were forced to travel to Sligo for treatment. At that stage assurances were given that this was a temporary arrangement and that clinics would resume in Letterkenny in September.
“As with many commitments given by the HSE, this has not happened and Donegal patients are continuing to travel to Sligo for their treatment. It is a completely unacceptable situation.
“Furthermore, the HSE in their latest correspondence to me have now stated that discussions are ongoing regarding the future configuration of the dermatology service. This is a worrying development and points to a prioritisation of service in Sligo.
“It is simply not fair to ask Donegal patients to travel for treatment that should be on their doorstep. Letterkenny is effectively being downgraded by default – with dermatology, rheumatology, orthopaedic and cancer services being severely reduced or curtailed. I will be raising this issue with the Health Minister in the Dáil at the earliest opportunity.”