Anger over lack of commitment on community hospitals

first_imgFurther questions have been raised over the government’s lack of commitment to securing the future of Community Hospitals in Donegal.There was anger in the Dáil yesterday as Deputy Pearse Doherty, Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher and Deputy Charlie McConalogue sought answers over whether funding needed to secure the future of long-stay residential services at St Joseph’s and Ramelton Community Hospitals will be allocated.Their comments come following a debate where the Government again failed to specifically state when the funding for the projects would be allocated, while no further details of plans being considered with respect to Lifford Hospital could be given either. Teachta Doherty said: “It’s a pity that the Minister isn’t here to take this Debate and to put on record the future of Donegal’s three community hospitals.“We’re three years on from when the HSE and Government said very clearly that long stay beds were to close at St Joseph’s and Ramelton, while it was said that the facility in Lifford was also to close.“Over that time communities have been fobbed off, with Minister Joe McHugh going out on local media in Donegal telling them about multi-million euro grants being sanctioned.“Yet, we know that not a penny has yet been sanctioned for these projects. “These communities will only believe that the old plan is in the bin where it belongs and that the future of these hospitals is viable and secure when money has actually been granted.The Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson also queried the government’s current position with respect to the future of Lifford hospital.Deputy Doherty said: “This is also an important campaign and we badly need those beds too if we are to compliment the new nursing facility planned for Letterkenny.“Minister, when we met at the start of November last we heard good news when we were advised that the old plans to close these hospitals had been revised and we cautiously welcomed it at the time.“The problem is however that we have been told things over and over again by Government Ministers which simply were not true, and we’ve been given answers previously to Dáil Questions only to be informed that the information given was incorrect.” Deputy Doherty highlighted how the local campaigns for assurance on local hospitals appear to be falling on deaf ears.He concluded: “For three years the people of Lifford, Stranorlar and Ramelton have taken to the streets in protest yet they have not yet been allocated any funding – not a bean.“And this Government is continuing to fail to give a commitment as to when this project is going to be signed off on and when it will appoint a design team.”Deputy Gallagher said grave concerns remain amongst the respective communities served by these three community hospitals, and recently over 1,000 people took to the streets of Ballybofey and Stranorlar to show their support for their local hospital. Pat the Cope stated whilst the Minister of State did clearly state on the record of the Dáil today that the plans for St Joseph’s have been changed along with the plans for Ramelton Community Hospital, he failed to commit any finance for the two projects due to the fact the current Capital Plan for the HSE has not yet been finalised.He said “Unfortunately, for Lifford Community Hospital the Government have failed completely to commit to any future for the existing building and the hospital overall and furthermore no decision is to be taken until post 2021 concerning any replacement of the hospital.“This is regrettable news for Lifford and I would urge the Government to reconsider their decision on this matter. Lifford has a clear and identifiable need for a long stay accommodation unit and care unit added Pat the Cope.“In relation to St Joseph’s and Ramelton the reply failed to fully commit to the appointment of a design team, which was already promised but no reference was made to timelines or project team for redeveloping the hospital.“It is, therefore, necessary that the Department of Health and the various Ministers dealing with these hospitals to firm up on what exact decision is taken for inclusion in the capital plan, how many long stay beds are to be retained in these hospitals and when exactly the design works are to commence.“It is just typical of this Government thus far in relation to these three hospitals – whereby everything is promised but nothing is followed through on and even less is actually delivered, this is why in essence so many of the people of Donegal have lost faith in the commitments already given in relation to these hospitals. It is now imperative that all these matters are confirmed.”Anger over lack of commitment on community hospitals was last modified: April 3rd, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

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