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Almost one in four scheduled surgeries cancelled in Letterkenny Hospital this year – Mac Lochlainn

30 November, 2017 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has revealed that almost one in four of the planned cases in the General Surgery Department of Letterkenny University Hospital had to be cancelled this year. Senator Mac Lochlainn had put questions to Minister for Health Simon Harris and, responding on his behalf, management at the hospital have confirmed that out of 388 planned cases or surgeries this year, 89 had to be cancelled.

Senator Mac Lochlainn said:

“The numbers of cancellations are deeply worrying. It is best international practice that surgeons or consultants would have a set number of days and cases every week, month and year to work on. Clearly, the beds crisis at the hospital means that again and again, surgeries are being cancelled and these standards are slipping through no fault of the front line staff.

“More importantly, these delays cause real additional stress and distress to those patients from Donegal awaiting an operation or procedure. I am personally aware of an instance where a lady had fasted in preparation for a surgical procedure and was in gowns ready to be taken to theatre when her operation was cancelled. This is a scandalous situation.

“The unacceptably high number of surgical cancellations is of course, a symptom of the overall beds crisis at the hospital. A crisis caused by years of systematic underfunding and discrimination.

“The outworking of this wilful neglect is unprecedented numbers of Donegal people on trolleys at our major county hospital, waiting outrageous lengths of time for an adequate bed; almost 20,000 of our people or one in eight, on hospital waiting lists; and as we now know, unacceptable numbers of surgical cancellations.

“Earlier this year, Sinn Féin published our report and document, ‘The Need to Invest in Letterkenny University Hospital’. We will continue to fight for fairness and funding justice for our hospital.” 

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