Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Working for Donegal

New Beds Promised for Letterkenny University Hospital still not open

Posted on: Tuesday, January 29, 2019

New Beds Promised for Letterkenny University Hospital still not open – Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Donegal Sinn Féin Senator, Padraig Mac Lochlainn has criticised the Government as it’s been revealed that none of the new beds pledged for Letterkenny University Hospital as part of the Government’s Winter Initiative have yet been opened.

The news comes following the release of figures to Sinn Féin which shows that of the 75 beds planned to be opened at a number of facilities across the state under the plan, just 40 have been opened to date, with none of the five beds committed to for LUH having yet come on stream.

Senator Mac Lochlainn said:

“As this data shows, Minister Harris’s Winter Plan has been exposed as an exercise in hype and spin from this Government.

“Despite all the pledges and all the boasting we heard over the airwaves and in the newspapers over the Christmas period from the Minister in an effort to publicise his initiative, the fact that only 40 of the 75 beds announced have been opened doesn’t do much to inspire much confidence in his ability to get a grip on the overcrowding crisis.

“Shockingly, at LUH where a meager five in-patient beds had been pledged, we now discover that none of these beds have yet to be opened.

“This is despite the hospital continuing to experience huge levels of overcrowding, with 30 patients having been forced to wait on trolleys and chairs at Letterkenny only as recently as this morning (Tuesday).

“And Letterkenny is not alone here, hospitals in Waterford, Tullamore, Dublin, Cork, and Galway have yet to open any of the new beds that were promised as part of the Winter Plan.

“Over the last decade, there has been a decrease of over 1,100 beds in hospitals state wide, and so this is why additional capacity has been identified as one of the many initiatives which are urgently needed to address this worrying trend.

“However, unless this government addresses the recruitment and retention crisis affecting our nurses and doctors, these beds won’t be opened.

“Fine Gael have the power to tackle these issues, however, after 8 years in charge of health, it is apparent they haven’t the appetite, the acumen, nor the capabilities to do so.”

ENDS

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