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18 patients on trolleys in Letterkenny 01.06.11

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 the problem.
“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 completion”.
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."
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