Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Charlie McConalogue has called on Minister for Health James Reilly to clarify his intentions regarding services for children and adolescents with diabetes in Co Donegal. Deputy McConalogue was commenting amid reports that Sligo is being considered instead of Letterkenny as one of the 10 proposed regional centres for diabetic clinical services.
The Donegal North East TD said: “I am seeking urgent clarification from Minister Reilly about his plans for regional centres for paediatric diabetic care throughout the country. There are growing concerns that Sligo may be selected as the regional centre, meaning Donegal patients will be forced to travel for the care they need. Letterkenny General Hospital has a greater number of patients requiring this type of care than Sligo. It makes sense that Letterkenny should be the regional centre.
“One of the key recommendations from the diabetes expert advisory group was that these centres should be located in regional hospitals. I have made the cast to Minister Reilly that Letterkenny needs to be upgraded to a Regional Hospital and the Minister indicted that he would consider this. This must happen as quicly as possible as the hospital’s status will be a key factor determining the future of hospital services in Donegal.
“Central to diabetic care is the need to appoint a paediatric diabetic nurse specialist. I have also called on Minister Reilly to approve this appointment as a matter of urgency.
“The people of Donegal need some certainty about the healthcare services for their children. Letterkenny General Hospital is already a long distance for many people to travel to. Forcing them to travel to Sligo is simply out of the question. I want Minister Reilly to tell us outright what his plans are for paediatric diabetes services nationally. He needs to provide an assurance that current paediatric diabetic services are secure in Letterkenny and will be developed.”