Doherty Welcomes Major Breakthrough in Gaoth Dobhair Sewerage Scheme Saga

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has today (Wednesday) welcomed confirmation today from Irish Water’s parent company Ervia that it is committed to the delivery of a sewerage scheme for Gaoth Dobhair. The commitment comes following the issuance of a damning Reasoned Opinion by the European Commission in September criticising the state over its failure to deliver the scheme.

Deputy Doherty made the comments following a meeting held this morning with representatives from the company, during which it was confirmed that Irish Water has now put forward its proposals for Gaoth Dobhair as part of the state’s response to the Commission, which was formally notified of the infringement earlier this year in a submission lodged with the body by the Sinn Féin TD and MEP Matt Carthy.

Speaking this afternoon, Deputy Doherty said:

“I requested today’s meeting with representatives from Ervia as today is the final deadline for the state to reply to the Reasoned Opinion issued by the Commission in respect of a sewerage scheme for Gaoth Dobhair – a project which the community has been waiting to see completed for well over forty years now.

“During this morning’s meeting with officials from Ervia, I was happy to have had it confirmed that, following the earlier intervention from both MEP Matt Carthy and I a number of months ago in which we wrote to the Commission to flag this violation, the company is now committed to seeing the project delivered for the region.

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Doherty Welcomes Ambitious Magee Medical School Proposals

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has today (Wednesday) welcomed proposals to establish a new medical school for graduate entrants in the northwest to be based at University of Ulster’s Magee Campus in Derry.

Speaking following the passage of an Assembly motion this week in support of the project, Deputy Doherty said:

“I very much welcome and support these ambitious proposals to establish a new medical school at the Magee Campus for graduate entry students.

“This project, which has the full backing of Sinn Féin representatives both north and south, has the potential to be a real game changer in terms of how we train and recruit personnel at hospitals and medical facilities here in the northwest.

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Doherty Blasts Government over Reduction in Consultant Neurologists Posts across SAOLTA Hospital Group

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has today (Tuesday) criticised the Government over the reduction in the number of Consultant Neurologists working across the Saolta University Healthcare Group over the last three years.

Deputy Doherty was reacting to figures which he requested from the HSE which reveal that the number of Whole-Time Equivalents (WTEs) Consultant Neurologists employed across the group has dropped by 15.5 per cent over the last three years, with the total number of consultants at Sligo hospital, which serves patients in Donegal, having halved during the same period.

The reduction represents the highest percentage fall of any single hospital across the state’s seven hospital groups.

Deputy Doherty said:

“These figures which I’ve received from the HSE in relation to the number of Consultant Neurologist employed in our acute public hospitals clearly show that once again, patients here in the Northwest are discriminated against in terms of service provision.

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General Surgery Waiting Times Worsen at Letterkenny University Hospital

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has branded waiting times for General Surgery at Letterkenny University Hospital as ‘outrages’ and ‘deeply concerning’ after the publication of the latest waiting list data revealed that last month the total number of patients awaiting treatment reached the highest level recorded so far this year.

Deputy Doherty was commenting following the receipt of figures on waiting times from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) which show that, as of October, a total of 981 patients are on waiting lists to undergo general surgery at the hospital – the highest number so far for 2016 and over 22 per cent higher than when figures were at their lowest level in April.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The latest data on patient waiting lists compiled from the National Treatment Purchase Fund clearly indicate that waiting times for general surgery are steadily worsening.

“In April of this year, there were a total of 803 patients on waiting lists for general surgery at Letterkenny, with 56 people waiting over a year for surgery, four waiting for longer than 15 months and no patient waiting longer than 18 months for treatment.

“Fast forward to October, and patient numbers for General Surgery have ballooned to 981, with 97 of those waiting over a year for treatment, 22 still on the waiting list for greater than 15 months, with a further seven patients languishing on the surgery waiting list for in excess of 18 months.

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