NEWS

No approval granted for second breast surgeon at Letterkenny University Hospital

Deputy Pearse Doherty has received the confirmation

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

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Approval is yet to be granted for a permanent second consultant breast surgeon for Letterkenny University Hospital, it has emerged.
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty received the confirmation after a reply to a parliamentary question.
The Minister for Health confirmed that the current post holder is employed on a temporary one year contract which is set to end this July, while approval for a permanent post for the hospital has not been sanctioned.
Deputy Doherty said: “As many people are aware the campaign to secure a second consultant breast surgeon at LUH has been ongoing for years as it’s widely accepted that the hospital has been struggling to meet patient demands such is the pressure on cancer services.
“Indeed there was much delight when just ahead of the last General Election the Minister of State Joe McHugh eagerly announced publicly that it had been confirmed to him that a second Consultant breast surgeon post had been secured for Letterkenny University Hospital.
“Then, following months of stalemate, he made the announcement that a second breast surgeon had finally been appointed to the hospital and that the consultant was to take up the role in July.
“As part of this announcement, the Minister of State assured the people of Donegal that while the post would initially be on a locum basis to begin with, a permanent appointment would be made later.
“Yet, in spite of those promises, it has been confirmed to me this week in response to a Dáil Question that the current post holder remains employed on a temporary payroll basis, and that their contract is due to expire this July 2018.

“More worryingly is the revelation that the hospital has also confirmed that it still has not been granted the formal approval for a permanent second breast surgeon as part of cancer services.

“This means that in the coming months the incumbent consultant’s contract will have come to an end and we still have no idea how or even if this post will be filled – that is simply scandalous.

“And no matter how much spin and hype the Minister of State puts on it, this situation has now become farcical.
“Patients, hospital staff and advocacy groups have been let down time and time again and I think it’s high time that they be given straight answers in terms of what is happening regarding this appointment.
“I pledge to continue to work closely with all of the stakeholders involved and I intend to raise this matter with the Minister in the Dáil at the next available opportunity.”