Numbers of patients on trolleys at Letterkenny Hospital doubled to almost 5,000 - Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn
Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has described the numbers of patients on trolleys at Letterkenny Hospital throughout 2017 as a “damning indictment of Government failure."
The INMO have confirmed that there were 4,889 patients on trolleys at Letterkenny Hospital last year, the highest ever annual numbers since INMO records began. That was an increase from 2,047 in 2016.
Speaking following the publication of the Irish Nurses and Widwives Organisation’s (INMO) annual trolley watch report, Senator Mac Lochlainn said:
“These numbers are truly shocking and they are the result of the intentional Government policy of cuts and recruitment embargoes over the years.
"They are a expose the abject failure of the Government to deal with this crisis and a damning indictment of the 'confidence and supply' deal between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. This is a bad deal for Donegal.
"Last year, myself and Deputy Pearse Doherty published a report, 'The Need to Invest In Letterkenny University Hospital.' We clearly demonstrated the neglect of our major county hospital and the funding discrimination ongoing for years.
"We presented Sinn Féin’s policies for a change to all of this and for fairness but the clear evidence is that this Government, supported by Fianna Fáil, still have no plan to tackle this scandal.
“The crisis in Donegal’s health service extends well beyond the confines of Letterkenny University Hospital. One in eight of our people across Donegal, almost 20,000 men, women and children, are on hospital waiting lists.
"This systematic neglect also extends to our community hospitals from Carndonagh to Ballyshannon with one in three nurses and one in four beds cut from that primary care system, piling even more pressure on Letterkenny University Hospital.
"The crisis in our health service is not accidental. It is the inevitable outworking of Government policy and Government failure.
"There is a better and fairer way. It is about a level of investment in beds and staff across our public health system over the next number of years that reflects and reverses the years of neglect and cutbacks. It is about honesty with the people of Ireland that we have choices. We can choose to cut taxes for all, including the wealthy or we can sort out our health system.
"Sinn Féin are clear in where we stand. It’s over to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to be honest with the people on where they stand”.