Independent TD Thomas Pringle has accused Minister Joe Mc Hugh of reneging on his commitments for a Breast Surgeon Consultant at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH).
Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh confirmed back in January 2016 that a new consultant breast surgeon post would be filled at Letterkenny University Hospital however Minister Harris yesterday revealed during a Dáil exchange with Deputy Pringle that a locum consultant post was being pursued instead.
“I’m calling on Minister Harris to meet with myself and the Donegal Action for Cancer Care group as soon as possible to establish a solution to protecting breast cancer services at LUH and to reaffirm his commitment to securing a full-time consultant breast surgeon once and for all” said Mr Pringle.
He continued, “During countless meetings with the Minister, Saolta Hospital Group and the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), we were led to believe that a full time consultant breast surgeon was being sought after for LUH, when all this time it turns out that they’ve been pushing for a locum consultant instead.
“This is very disappointing news and worrying particularly for community groups who have worked tirelessly on behalf of Donegal patients to secure breast cancer services in Donegal.”
Deputy Pringle has asked Minister Mc Hugh to make a ‘firm commitment to patients in Donegal’ and went on to say how a locum would ‘fall short’ of what the patients need.
Deputy Pringle concluded, “I think we are all tired of the endless discussions of potential solutions at meetings with stakeholders and we want to see real solutions in place now. All stakeholders including Saolta, the NCCP and the Minister need to step up and present a viable plan with a time frame and the resources to achieve what’s necessary to preserve these services.”