Donegal Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Services at Letterkenny General Hospital under threat from cutbacks- Mac Lochlainn

Published: 21 February, 2012

Services at Letterkenny General Hospital under threat from cutbacks- Mac Lochlainn
Donegal North East Sinn Féin TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has warned that services and specialities are under threat at Letterkenny General Hospital due to further severe cutbacks under the HSE West Service Plan. The hospital faces another €4.3 million euro in cuts in 2012.
A delegation of Sinn Féin elected representatives from Donegal North East, Deputy Mac Lochlainn, Mayor of Letterkenny, Cllr Gerry McMonagle, Cllr Mick Quinn, and Cllr Jack Murray held a key meeting with senior HSE officials a month ago in Dublin where they raised their concerns about the impact of cutbacks on a peripheral hospital like Letterkenny and sought assurances on the opening of the new medical block with a new accident and emergency ward, assessment unit and three new hospital wards.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
"Letterkenny General Hospital has been successful over recent years in building up the range of services and specialities such as cardiac, orthopaedic and cancer care for patients in Donegal. It is clear that cutbacks will start to erode these services in the time ahead and that is just unacceptable.
Last year, there was an €8 million euro overspend at Letterkenny General Hospital. This was not down to incompetence or mismanagement as the hospital is officially one of the most efficient in the state. It was down to systematic underfunding and now that failed strategy has continued into 2012"
He continued:
"The approach of this Fine Gael and Labour Government is reckless. Minister for Health, James Reilly informs the HSE that their budget has been slashed and the HSE passes those cuts on down the line to hospital managers like Shaun Murphy at Letterkenny and they are expected to do the impossible. Something has to give and it is going to be the quality and range of services at our hospital. The people of Donegal now need to make their voices heard and demand that their local Fine Gael and Labour Oireachtas members and Councillors explain how they can stand over this?
Letterkenny General Hospital has a very high level of patients coming through its A&E ward and it is a peripheral hospital serving a large rural county. These are strong reasons why the management and staff cannot withstand these severe cuts year on year".