A NUMBER OF Donegal’s most senior doctors have warned that ‘patients will die’ unless adequate resources are provided to facilitate both elective and emergency surgery at Letterkenny University Hospital, the Donegal News has learned.
Confidential correspondence seen by the Donegal News reveals a devastating assessment on what has been termed “an appalling situation” from six Consultant Surgeons working in the Department of General Surgery at LUH.
A growing number of patients are now finding that essential surgery is being cancelled as the hospital struggles to cope with overcrowding and a lack of beds and doctors.
Earlier this week the six Consultant Surgeons (Michael Sugrue, Saqib Zeeshan, Zsolt Bodnar, Manvydas Varzgalis, Hassan Elmusharaf and Abdel Bassett Elsayed) wrote to Mr Sean Murphy, General Manager, LUH, to outline their concerns.
According to the top medics, elective surgery is now almost routinely cancelled unless the patient has cancer, despite the fact that Letterkenny is the busiest on-call hospital in the Saolta Group. In their professional view they can no longer treat their patients in line with International best practice.
To compound their frustrations, up to ten patients have been seen at the Beacon Private Hospital in Dublin in recent weeks through the National Treatment Purchase Fund at a cost in excess of €50,000.
“We believe that the hospital in Letterkenny should receive this money to allow surgery to take place here,” the letter states.
The Department of Surgery in Letterkenny has requested extra operating lists as they feel that two operating lists a week is the norm for a general surgeon.
They have also indicated their willingness to operate at a weekend but that has not received a favourable response.
“We believe that patients wil die as a result of the inability to service the needs of elective and semi-urgent patients on our waiting lists. We believe that this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgent priority. We are asking the hospital to help us treat our patients, not hamper us,” the medics wrote.
They have also asked the General Manager to inform GPs of this critical situaiton.
According to the most recent statistics, Letterkenny is the busiest site within the Saolta University Health Care Group.
In 2016, LUH had almost 3,000 (2,966) emergency in-patient procedures with an additional 543 elective in-patient procedures, while the figures for Galway University Hospital were 2,507 and 990 respectively.
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