Health Minister Simon Harris has been called on to provide additional funding and resources for Letterkenny University Hospital.
This follows his surprise visit to the hospital on Thursday. The minister was accompanied by the Director General of the HSE, Tony O’Brien.
The visit was certainly a surprise to Sean Murphy, General Manager at the hospital. He told Highland Radio on Friday he thought it was “a wind up” when advised, shortly before his arrival, that the minister was on his way to the hospital.
He added he didn’t have any issue with the unannounced nature of the visit.
In August Saolta University Health Care Group issued various statements alerting the public to the fact the emergency department was very busy.
Since the unexpected visit by the health minister, TD Pat The Cope Gallagher said that while the dedication of staff to the care of the patients is not in question, their task is impossible unless additional resources are provided by Minister Harris and the HSE.
He says there are growing pressures at the hospital on a daily basis due to budget constraints and staff shortages, and the minister must have seen that during his visit
Deputy Gallagher said numerous constituents had contacted him conveying concerns regarding the hospital.
He said Letterkenny University Hospital now requires immediate action by this Government.
He challenged the health minister and the Government to put in place an action plan for the hospital.
He said a supplementary budget allocation and an increased annual budget is now essential for Letterkenny University Hospital in order that the hospital meets the growing demands of the county.
“That must be the message Minister Harris brings back to Dublin,” he said.