4,311 hospital cancellations at Letterkenny Hospital last year “not acceptable”

Sinn Féin’s Pádraig MacLochlainn TD and Pearse Doherty TD have revealed that Letterkenny hospital cancellations numbered 4,311 last year.

The Donegal Deputies said that the Government’s lack of a plan for overcrowding was impacting directly on waiting lists through cancellations.

They said that the Government was shifting the problem from emergency departments to waiting lists, leaving patients waiting longer for access to care.


They also said that Sinn Féin has a plan to improve the health service by delivering 3,000 hospital and community beds nationwide, ending the recruitment embargo, training more healthcare professionals, and investing in local health services.

Teachta Mac Lochlainn said this Government is failing to tackle hospital overcrowding which is leading to record levels of cancellations at Letterkenny University Hospital.

“There were 4,311 hospital appointments cancelled in 2023, up significantly from the previous year. It is a worrying increase.

“13 years of Varadkar, Harris, and Donnelly have made the health service worse. They have decimated local health services and created a crisis in our hospitals. They don’t have a plan for hospital overcrowding, and this is forcing hospitals to rely on cancellations. This is shifting the problem from overcrowded EDs onto lengthy waiting lists. This solution is not sustainable.

“In 10 months, Simon Harris will not fix the crisis which his party have created over 13 years. It’s time for a Sinn Féin Health Minister, one who will stand up for people and deliver the change that the health service requires,” he said.

Teachta Doherty added that they have a plan for the health service to improve access, tackle hospital overcrowding, and reduce lengthy waiting lists.

“Sinn Féin would deliver 3,000 hospital and community beds to tackle overcrowding and inefficiency, end the recruitment embargo and train more health care professionals to safely staff the health service.


“We would also invest in improving local health services including GP care and a pharmacy first model.

“We would fast-track elective centres so that we can separate unscheduled, emergency care from scheduled procedures and surgeries. This will increase surgical theatre capacity, help to reduce the number of cancellations, and free up capacity in hospitals for emergency care.

“Sinn Féin would also invest in home support, community step-down beds, and diagnostic capacity so that patients can be discharged to their home or to a supported care setting when they are ready, and to ensure that patients’ experiences are not delayed by lengthy waiting lists for scans,” he said.

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