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26/09/2021

Donegal TD reveals that there are 64 positions lying vacant at Letterkenny University Hospital

Deputy Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher said it took three months to get an answer from minister and HSE regarding vacancies

Sixty-four posts are vacant at Letterkenny University Hospital and the Government embargo prohibits them being filled, according to one Donegal deputy. 

Deputy Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher Leas Cheann Comhairle who confirmed the number of vacancies at the Donegal hospital said that it took 3 months to get a reply from the Minister for Health and HSE on the issue.

Crisis point
Letterkenny University Hospital has been at full capacity protocol on many occasions over the past year.

Deputy Gallagher said: "We have seen first hand the overcrowding in the Accident and Emergency
Department, the delays in obtaining a bed for many, the pressures on scheduled procedures and operations which has affected so many throughout the year."

The Dungloe-based politician has said a full capacity review is urgently needed of the entire hospital, whereby each and every department and section would be looked at closely with a view to increasing
the capacity to meet the demands being placed on it.

"It is self-obvious that the Government over the past 4 years has completely failed Letterkenny
University Hospital – it has not featured on their priority list while meantime matters are deteriorating to a stage that one must be seriously concerned about how the hospital can effectively run and less resources, staff shortages of 64 posts and a chronic lack of bed capacity," he said. 

Government legacy
Mr Gallagher said that the reality in LUH is that the short stay bed unit, the previously promised acute
stroke unit are all either closed or under utilised. 

"The Government embargo prohibits them being filled despite management requests from LUH to have them filled. There simply is no one listening to the demands and needs of LUH or the people of Donegal in terms of its health demands – this Government’s legacy is one of record waiting lists, record levels of overcrowding and record levels of deferred procedures or operation at LUH, the system is on the verge of collapse were it not for the extra work being put in by the staff who are
already overworked and understaffed," Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher said.

He said that a proactive and a hands-on approach must be taken without delay at the county hospital. He said that as a party, Fianna Fáil are committing to a full capacity review of the hospital and taking the necessary action to firstly fill the already existing vacant posts, to provide for extra bed capacity and the opening of the Acute Stroke Unit.

"These are the first steps which need to be taken to deal with the current crises, more of the same
policies and approach of the present Government are no longer an option, a radical and complete review with a determination to undo the imbalances and shortfalls of the hospital is the only solution and I am committing to perusing that course if returned to Government," he said.

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