Minister prepares to visit a hospital in crisis

Letterkenny University Hospital

Letterkenny University Hospital

THE Minister for Health will see first hand on Monday the ongoing problems at Letterkenny University Hospital.
Calls have been made for a major turn-out for protesters to meet Minister Simon Harris and his senior HSE officials who will be attending the launch of the Digital Medical Academy in the Hospital.
His visit comes on the backdrop of repeated Code Black alerts, record numbers on trolleys, cancelled procedures and demands for more staff and resources.
On Thursday, concerns were raised over the hospital’s failure to advertise a vacant senior position in the Oncology Department.
It is understood a senior member of staff is leaving her post before the end of the year, putting extra pressure on the Oncology Department.
Mrs Lynn McDevitt, Good and News Cancer Bus, claimed that the Medical Oncology Department has been unable to taken any new referrals for the past week or more.
“Her contract finishes on December 30 and she has decided to move on which means that no new patients are being referred to Letterkenny University Hospital to receive Chemotherapy treatment. Where will these patients now,have to go to receive treatment?” Mrs McDevitt asked.
A former cancer patient, Mrs McDevitt called on the HSE to agree a timeframe for recruiting staff to the oncology ward.
“Current staff cannot continue to operation under such extreme pressures,” Mrs McDevitt said.
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher claimed the Minister has taken no direct action to alleviate the ongoing problems and crises which we witness almost on a daily and weekly basis within the hospital since he visited Letterkenny earlier this year.
“This Health Minister and previous Ministers of Health since 2010 have allowed services within Letterkenny University Hospital to hit rock bottom, we have a crises of services and a crises of management within the Hospital,” the Leas-Cheann Comhairle said.
Former Health Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed the appointment of a second Consultant Breast Surgeon for the Hospital nack in January but, to date, no appointment has been made.

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