Donegal TDs are still seeking answers to questions about the future of antenatal services at Dungloe Community Hospital.
The service was moved from the Rosses hospital to Letterkenny University Hospital in January of 2015. The Health Service Executive said a staff shortage caused by sick leave had led to the services being moved. The HSE had said at the time that the move was a temporary measure.
Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin TD, has asked the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar whether approval has been granted for recruitment of a permanent replacement consultant obstetrician to fill a vacant post for the antenatal and gynaecology clinic at the Dungloe Hospital.
In a parliamentary question to the minister, Deputy Doherty has also asked how long the post has been vacant and when it will be filled.
Last month, Deputy Doherty had called on Minister Varadkar to disclose what Deputy Doherty called the “long-overdue outcome” of a review into the future of the service at Dungloe Community Hospital, saying he had not received any updates on the proposed service model that was to be presented to the executive board of Letterkenny University Hospital and Saolta clinical directorate.
Thomas Pringle, independent TD, has also been advocating for return of the services to the Dungloe hospital and raising the issue on the floor of the Dáil; in January of last year he was also involved in a public demonstration in Dungloe in support of the service.
“I think despite everything they say in public, Letterkenny University Hospital would like to see it close,” Deputy Pringle said of the Dungloe clinic, saying he believed that the fact that the campaign to restore the services so quickly, “made it very difficult for them”.
But future plans for the service in Dungloe are not known.
“We haven’t been able to find out what their intentions are,” Deputy Pringle said.