Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has called on the HSE and Minister for Health to urgently approve a funding request of €1.8m to re-open the short stay ward at Letterkenny University Hospital.

The funding, when approved, would increase the hospital’s capacity from 330 to 350 beds.

Deputy McConalogue raised the issue in the Dáil yesterday evening, only hours after the INMO revealed that 23 people were waiting on trolleys in Letterkenny University Hospital.

“I cannot understand the Health Minister and HSE’s reluctance to approve this urgently needed funding.  The request from the hospital was submitted in June this year, however the latest response I have received confirms that no action has been taken to approve it.  This is totally unacceptable”, said Deputy McConalogue.

“This money will allow hospital management to reopen an urgently needed short stay ward.  This would go a long way to easing the pressure that our hospital is under.  The latest INMO figures only serve to strengthen the case for this funding.

“It is essential that this funding is approved as soon as possible.  I will continue to pursue this important issue to ensure that this vital funding for our local hospital is secured”.