Senator Pádraig MacLochlainn
Sinn Féin Sen. Pádraig MacLochlainn has said there has been a shocking 33 per cent cut in the number of nurses working in Donegal’s community hospitals since 2006.
The senator also said there has been a 20 per cent cut in overall staff numbers across the county’s community hospitals in that time.
“Is it any wonder that we have a trolley crisis at Letterkenny University Hospital when the last three governments have squeezed our community hospitals to the bone?” Sen. MacLochlainn asked.
He said that the number of nurses working in Donegal community hospitals has dropped from 239 to 160 since 2006, and overall staff numbers in the hospitals have dropped from 609 to 486 in that same time.
A few days earlier, Sen. MacLochlainn had reported that figures he received from Minister of Health, Simon Harris, TD, showed there had been a cut in bed numbers of almost one in four across the county’s community hospitals over that time, with overall bed numbers down from 490 to 377 since 2006.
Sen. MacLochlainn said the nursing and staffing figures showed that Sinn Féin was right in saying that what he called the serious crisis in the health service has been caused by years of cutbacks and underinvestment by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments.
”The fact that the numbers of nurses working in Donegal’s community hospitals has been cut by one-third is truly shocking,” he said.
“This Fine Gael government and Fianna Fáil, who are keeping them in power, need to outline to the people of Donegal their plan to reinstate and grow the numberse of nurses, beds and staff across all our community hospitals,” Sen. MacLochlainn said.
“I am tired of expressions of concern and sympathy from these parties’ representatives in Donegal. They are in power. They need to step up to the plate,” the senator said.