Sinn Fein fury as HSE confirm no funding granted yet for community hospitals

first_imgDeputy Pearse Doherty has slammed the Government and HSE after it was confirmed this week that the funding for the long-awaited redevelopment of St Joseph’s and Ramelton Community Hospitals has still not been sanctioned.This comes despite repeated government promises that services at both facilities are to be upgraded, he said.The admission is contained in a HSE response to a recent Dáil Question tabled by the Donegal TD. It also comes some three years after the futures of the hospitals were thrown into question following the announcement that their long term residential care beds were to be closed and replaced by a new nursing unit proposed for Letterkenny.Commenting on this latest disclosure, Deputy Doherty said “For more than three years now the people of Lifford, Stranorlar and Ballybofey, and Ramelton have been kept in limbo in relation to the fate of long stay residential services at their local community hospitals.“Initially, they were told that these services at all three facilities were to close and be replaced by a new central nursing complex planned for Letterkenny as part of the Government’s programme of investment in public nursing homes 2016-2021.”He said the announcement was met with justifiable anger from communities throughout the county. However, thanks to the tireless efforts and persistent lobbying from patients, their families, staff, as well as from community and lobby groups in opposition to these plans, the Government and HSE were forced to do a U-turn, claimed Deputy Doherty.“However, despite months of assurances and promises from Government that long term residential care at both St Joseph’s and Ramelton would be refurbished and retained, here we are coming into the summer of 2019 and we discover that funding for these projects has still not been granted.“In the HSE’s latest reply to me in which I questioned whether or not funding to carry out these works has yet been sanctioned, the executive outlines that while the retention of services at the hospitals is included in its Capital Plan 2016-2021, it goes on to explain that both projects will only be progressed ‘when funding becomes available’ and stated that timelines will only be available upon receipt of said funding.“This begs the question then why Minister Joe McHugh has publicly pronounced multi-million euros worth of grants having been secured for these hospitals, yet in reality not a single cent has been sanctioned.“This situation is extremely frustrating and it is simply shameful that these communities continue to be fobbed off by both the Government and HSE, meanwhile the futures of these services remain shrouded in doubt. “Similarly, we have yet to be given any clear details of what the future holds for the provision of services, or even what type of services will be available to the public at Lifford hospital going forward.“When politicians and the hospital campaigners met with the Minister last year we heard all the right noises being made about the future of these hospitals, yet these nice words have proven hallow time and time again. “This is also an important campaign and we badly need those beds too if we are to compliment the new nursing facility planned for Letterkenny.”“This Government has continued to fail to give a commitment as to when these projects will be signed off on and when we can expect to see works commence. “While I will continue to press this Government for answers, I pledge to continue to lend my support to these communities as part of their campaigns to ensure that these beds and other vital health services remain very much a part of these hospitals’ futures going forward.”Sinn Fein fury as HSE confirm no funding granted yet for community hospitals was last modified: May 30th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img