Locum cover for oncology returns to Donegal

Letterkenny University Hospital can resume accepting new referrals, McHugh says

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Locum cover for oncology returns to Donegal

Letterkenny University Hospital

Locum cover for the medical oncology service at Letterkenny University Hospital has resumed from immediate effect.

New referrals for chemotherapy services had been suspended at the hospital pending locum cover, which was expected to return on March 6th. It emerged today that the cover began on Monday.

“This has enabled the LUH Medical Oncology Service to resume accepting new referrals,” said Minister McHugh said. “This means that patients currently undergoing medical oncology treatment will be returned to LUH over the next number of weeks for their continued treatment on a phased basis."

At least 51 Donegal patients had been referred to Galway for chemotherapy while services in Letterkenny were suspended.

'Waiting lists worsen' - Deputy Gallagher

At the same time, Pat "the Cope" Gallagher, Fianna Fáil TD and leas-cheann comhairle, has expressed concern at what he called the worsening situation of hospital waiting lists.

Deputy Gallagher said figures released to him showed as of January 2017 there were 2,452 people awaiting inpatient and day case appointments, with 312 of them waiting more than 12 months.

He said the figures also showed 2,438 patients awaiting an outpatient appointment, an increase of 235 from January 2016, but 1,120 waiting more than 18 months for an appointment in the outpatient department.

Deputy Gallagher said the situation was "worsening to critical levels".