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16 Jan 2022

Delays in delivering additional beds to Letterkenny Hospital are totally unacceptable- Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD

Twenty-three of the 39 additional beds allocated still not opened

Twenty-three of the 39 additional beds allocated still not opened at LUH

Twenty-three of the 39 additional beds allocated still not opened at LUH

Donegal Sinn Féin TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has received confirmation from the Minister for Health that 23 of the 39 additional beds allocated to Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) for 2020 to 2021 have still nor been opened.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn described the delays as "totally unacceptable".

He added: "Just 16 out of 39 beds allocated to Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) for last year and this year have been opened. 

"Last month, more than 1,000 Donegal patients were on trolleys at LUH's Emergency Department instead of being in beds in the appropriate hospital wards. Day in, day out, we are hearing from the affected patients and families and from our front line health care workers at the hospital about the nightmare conditions there.

"What is being experienced at Letterkenny University Hospital is not the standard across the State. Most hospitals across the State do not have anywhere near the numbers of patients on trolleys and overcrowding as we have. What is being experienced here in Donegal is due to downright neglect and funding discrimination over years by government after government.

"I have joined delegations of Sinn Féin TDs and councillors over recent weeks in two separate meeting with the management of Letterkenny University Hospital and of the Saolta Hospital Group. We are clear that this is about the neglect of Donegal and the West of Ireland and this has to stop," said Deputy Mac Lochlainn.

The Donegal TD said he was again appealing to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly to come to Donegal, meet the hospital campaign groups, meet the front line hospital workers, and meet the Letterkenny Hospital management to hear first hand about the beds crisis at the hospital, the staff numbers crisis and the crisis in the cancellation of operations, procedures and appointments at the hospital. 

He added: "There are 23 beds that have been allocated to the hospital last year that are still not operational. How can this be justified? The Minister needs to insist that his Department and the HSE urgently intervene and assist LUH management with the recruitment of the necessary additional nurses and doctors. 

"And if the management requests support for temporary modular units at the Hospital, the Minister needs to get this sorted too."

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