Government again Fails to Commit Funding for Donegal’s Community Hospitals as Doherty Demands Answers over Facilities’ Futures
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has reacted angrily to the ongoing failure by the Government to give a commitment as to when the funding needed to secure the future of long stay residential services at St Joseph’s and Ramelton Community Hospitals will be allocated.
His comments come following a debate on the issue in the Dáil this afternoon (Tuesday) where the Government again failed to specifically state when the funding for the projects would be allocated, while no further details of plans being considered with respect to Lifford Hospital could be given either.
Teachta Doherty said:
“It’s a pity that the Minister isn’t here to take this Debate and to put on record the future of Donegal’s three community hospitals.
“We’re three years on from when the HSE and Government said very clearly that long stay beds were to close at St Joseph’s and Ramelton, while it was said that the facility in Lifford was also to close.
“Over that time communities have been fobbed off, with Minister Joe McHugh going out on local media in Donegal telling them about multi-million euro grants being sanctioned.
“Yet, we know that not a penny has yet been sanctioned for these projects.
“These communities will only believe that the old plan is in the bin where it belongs and that the future of these hospital is viable and secure when money has actually been granted.
“Also, what is the current position with respect to the future of Lifford hospital?
“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.
“Minister, when we met at the start of November last we heard good news when we were advised that the old plans to close these hospitals had been revised and we cautiously welcomed it at the time.
“The problem is however that we have been told things over and over again by Government Ministers which simply were not true, and we’ve been given answers previously to Dáil Questions only to be informed that the information given was incorrect.
“For three years the people of Lifford, Stranorlar and Ramelton have taken to the streets in protest yet they have not yet been allocated any funding – not a bean.
“And this Government is continuing to fail to give a commitment as to when this project is going to be signed off on and when it will appoint a design team.”