Community Hospitals in Donegal such as Dungloe pictured here are losing resources a Donegal Senator has claimed
One in four beds have been cut and and one in four nurses have been lost to the Community Hospitals across North and West Donegal over the last 15 years, a Donegal Senator has stated.
In response to a series of questions from Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn, the HSE have confirmed that beds in Buncrana, Carndonagh, Ramelton, Lifford, St Joseph’s Stranorlar, Falcarragh and Dungloe Community Hospitals reduced from a high point of 350 beds down to 261 beds today.
The HSE further confirmed that the numbers of nurses working in those hospitals has reduced from 155.33 whole time equivalents (wte) down to 115.93.
Senator Mac Lochlainn said: “This is a story of the stripping away of our Donegal community health services. Incredibly, when the government spend millions of euros upgrading the hospitals at Buncrana, Carndonagh, Ramelton and St Joseph’s Stranorlar over the next number of years, as they have been forced into by the Health Information and Quality Authority, rather than reversing these cutbacks, the government will not create one single additional bed.
"All of these cutbacks have an appalling knock on effect. The lack of beds and nurses in our community hospitals means that patients have to remain in beds at Letterkenny University Hospital. This leads to terrible delays in the Emergency Department and patients on trolleys. And this also leads to canceled hospital appointments and our people across Donegal waiting longer and longer on waiting lists.
“Our broken health service didn’t happen by accident. This is the outcome of years of intentional cutbacks and under-investment by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil governments. They would try and perpetuate the myth of the “black hole” for tax payers money and the system that can’t be repaired to take away hope from our people that they can a health service worthy of the name.
These latest responses from the HSE shatter that myth. We need political parties that will be honest with our people."