Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue says he’s deeply disappointed at the HSE’s decision not to allocate funding for additional beds at Letterkenny University Hospital in 2018. In its 2018 service plan, the HSE commits to increasing capacity at 7 hospitals, but Letterkenny has been overlooked.
Deputy McConalogue commented, “I find it extremely frustrating that despite the serious capacity issues at Letterkenny University Hospital, the HSE is continuing to refuse to acknowledge the situation and has failed to allocate funding for additional beds in its service plan for 2018.
“I have raised the need for the reopening of the short stay ward at LUH numerous times with the Minister for Health and the Taoiseach, but the plight of hospital patients in Donegal appears to be falling on deaf ears.
“Management at the hospital applied for funding for the ward, which would see bed capacity at LUH increased from 330 to 350, back in the summer, but to date neither the Minister nor the HSE has sanctioned the money.
“Letterkenny University Hospital recorded one of the highest levels of overcrowding in the country in November according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, with 502 patients on trolleys over the course of the month.
“Minister Simon Harris and the management of the HSE can no longer continue to ignore the situation at Letterkenny. Overcrowding is dangerously high and the only way to ease the strain on staff and patients is to provide additional beds. I am calling on the Minister and the HSE to immediately reassess the situation and to allocate the money needed to reopen the short stay ward without delay.
“I am also calling on Minister Joe McHugh to use his position at Cabinet to ensure that this happens. He must ensure that the situation facing Donegal patients is recognised by his cabinet colleagues and that immediate steps are taken to address chronic lack of beds at Letterkenny University Hospital”.