Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has accused the Taoiseach of fudging the issue of providing additional funding to Letterkenny University Hospital for a short stay ward.

Deputy McConalogue raised the issue with Leo Varadkar in the Dáil this afternoon.

“The Taoiseach’s answer to my question was incredulous at best.  “I don’t have an answer in relation to Letterkenny” is simply not good enough, and what added insult to injury was the fact that he then went on to outline other hospitals which would see new beds and wards opening over the coming months.  Why are people in Donegal being ignored and treated as second class citizens when funding can be found to increase capacity at other hospitals?”, asked Deputy McConalogue.

“The Taoiseach is failing to acknowledge the pressure that LUH is under.  The full capacity protocol has been in place at the hospital since the 27th December.  Outpatients appointments have been cancelled, procedures have been deferred and waiting lists are growing.  Despite this, the Taoiseach appears not to consider LUH a priority.

“The funding request for the additional beds and staff has been with the Minister and the HSE since last summer.  Since then the situation has deteriorated steadily and yet the Taoiseach does feel it is necessary to approve the application.

“This government needs to get real and acknowledge the problems facing staff and patients at LUH.  I am calling on Minister Joe McHugh to use his position at the Cabinet table to ensure that this issue is prioritised.  I hope that he can emphasise the seriousness of the situation to the Taoiseach, who appears to be oblivious to the reality on the ground.

There is clear, hard evidence as to why this funding needs to be urgently approved.”