18 patients on trolleys in
THERE has been a sharp
spike in the number of patients waiting on a bed at
Letterkenny General Hospital with 18 people treated
yesterday on trolleys.
The rise has prompted calls for the Health Minister,
Dr James Reilly to "sort out" the long-awaited
extension to the acute Donegal hospital.
A number of outpatient clinics were cancelled
yesterday due to the numbers waiting in A&E.
People have also been advised that, due to the high
number of admissions recently, patients due for
inpatient admission should contact the hospital
beforehand to confirm the availability of a bed. The
hospital can be contacted on 074 9125888.
The hospital stated: "We regret any inconvenience
that these measures may cause and we would like to
thank the public for their help and co-operation."
Letterkenny General Hospital
Meanwhile, Deputy Pádraig MacLochlainn hit out at
“Outpatient clinics being cancelled and patients on
trolleys again is totally unacceptable."
He called on the minister to "immediately intervene
in the debacle over the extension to Letterkenny
General Hospital". The extension is to include a new
A&E ward as well as three floors of modern-designed
wards above it.
The Donegal North East TD also called on the HSE to
"wrap up the legal wrangling" over the completion of
the hospital extension and to ensure that
sub-contractors owed money due to the collapse of
McNamara builders are fully compensated.
"...The latest news I have is that the minister is
“too busy” to meet the sub-contractors and the
announcement from hospital manager, Shaun Murphy,
that the extension may not be completed till 2012
really is the final straw.
“Patients are on trolleys once again. This is
totally unacceptable with the long overdue extension
to the hospital lying empty and so close to
He said the problem was exacerbated due to ongoing
Government cutbacks that have led to ward closures
and waiting list delays for operations that are
"then passed onto the private sector through the
National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF)".
The Buncrana-based deputy added: “What is now
required is an immediate intervention by Minister
James Reilly. He needs to ensure that the necessary
funds are released to ensure the completion of this
extension and both the minister and the HSE need to
ensure that hospital management are provided with
the necessary financial resources to adequately
staff the new wards.
"Minister Reilly also needs to meet with the
sub-contractors who have been left blowing in the
wind by McNamara’s.
"The facts are that one arm of Government, NAMA, was
fully aware of the precarious state of the McNamara
empire while other arms of state, the HSE, the OPW
and the Department of Education were giving them
major public contracts. The sub-contractors rightly
believed that, as they were carrying out public
work, the State would honour their payment for work
completed. This has not been the case and that is
clearly a wrong that must be corrected."