"No progress" on community hospitals, Pat the Cope

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

"No progress" on community hospitals, Pat the Cope

St Joseph's Community Hospital, Stranorlar

Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has voiced his concerns at the lack of progress on the future of Lifford, Ramelton and St Joseph's Community Hospitals.

He was commenting after a meeting on Monday with the HSE officials, public representatives, and members of the SOS – Save our Hospital services action group.

The meeting, he said, “came to no conclusion” and there was no progress reported.

Having questioned the HSE on their strategy for the hospitals, he said yesterday that he's now “even more concerned” at the “lack of any clear plan or commitment to maintain and upgrade these community hospitals by way of capital investment or planned upgrades within the current investment plan of the HSE.

“It is my belief that the HSE are overly focused on providing one centrally located hospital through a public private partnership, this cannot be allowed to happen at the expense of the other three hospitals.

“The new hospital for Letterkenny is welcome news and the additional bed capacity is much needed within the county; but the building of the new hospital and its extra bed capacity cannot be used by the HSE as the reason to downgrade and remove the long term bed capacity from Lifford, Ramelton and St Joseph’s Stranorlar community hospitals," Deputy Gallagher continued.

He welcomed the SOS action group's decision to now lobby all political parties and their health spokespersons, called on the Minister to meet with them, and gave them his full support.