Pat the Cope Gallagher
"Together, and supporting one another we can do better for Donegal"
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher Leas Cheann Comhairle has called on the Government to take action and address the bed capacity issues at Letterkenny University Hospital, the matter was raised by me in the Dáil and the reply which I obtained clearly identifies that Saolta and the Government have failed to act and sanction the additional bed capacity for the Hospital. In a detailed response from the Hospital authority they state “a proposal has been sent under the Critical Unmet Need & Winter Surge Initiative for funding to re-open the beds which would increase bed capacity in the hospital from 330 beds to 350 beds”. The Government have failed to provide the additional €1.8 million needed to provide for the additional capacity at the hospital.
Pat the Cope stated the additional 20 beds and appropriate additional staffing levels would go a long way in dealing with the current capacity issues which we witness almost on a daily basis in Letterkenny. Shockingly, we have witnessed time and time again full capacity protocols exercised in the hospital all year round, now as we face into the critical winter period it is most concerning as it is clear the hospital cannot cope with the levels of service demands placed on it with the current existing capacity within the hospital. The hospital are awaiting approval for the additional capacity since October but no final approval has yet been given by the Minister and the Government, Meantime, the Government espouse their winter strategy but it does not seem to apply to Donegal as they continue to ignore the ongoing difficulties within Letterkenny University Hospital. The staff within the Hospital are doing their utmost and level best to provide full and complete services to the patients but, without additional capacity demands can never be met as extra beds and staff are urgently needed before the winter fully sets in. It is nothing short of reckless that the Government have not approved the additional capacity and staffing for Letterkenny.
Pat the Cope added I have previously asked the Government to conduct a full and complete review of services, staffing levels and capacity within the hospital, the current proposal before the Government is for an additional 20 bed capacity, an extra 14 staff nurses, additional care assistants and CNM posts plus ancillary staff .Had the Minister for health heeded that request we could have avoided the difficulties experienced by the hospital and the many patients over the past year. I am demanding the Government take immediate action in relation to Letterkenny, enough procrastination and time wasting has been allowed to occur under this Governments watch, approval needs to be given for the hospital to expand bed capacity and staffing levels in order to counter act the ongoing crises at the Hospital concluded Pat the Cope.
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Pat the Cope was born in Burtonport and has lived in Dungloe, Co.Donegal all his life where he attended Roshine and Luinneach National School and thereafter Dungloe High School and Coláiste Éinde Gaillimh.
He obtained his Commerce degree from NUI Galway in 1970. From 1970 to 1981, he was involved in the fish processing sector. Pat the Cope has been married to Ann Gillespie for twenty five years. He has been a board member of the Rosses Community School Board of Management, Killybegs Tourism and Training College and the Donegal Vocational Education Committee to name but a few.
An enthusiastic GAA and Celtic FC supporter, he follows both as much as he can.
Small businesses are the engine of the Irish economy. SME’s in Donegal require more support from government with access to credit a major concern.
Rural Ireland is struggling to survive. Rural towns are in decline. Vital public services from post offices and Garda stations face closure. I will fight to reverse this unacceptable failure by this government.
We need a properly funded health service in Donegal that will cater for young and old, including mental health patients. The inability of this government to address the crisis in the health service is totally unacceptable.
Education has always been a key priority of mine. I will continue to seek to deliver the maximum amount of financial support allocated to schools in Donegal and our third level colleges.
The fishing sector is the lifeblood of so many coastal towns and villages throughout Donegal. The small islands off the coast of Donegal also depends so much on fishing. This vital industry supports jobs in areas where few alternatives exist. I will continue to be a strong voice for this important industry, and strive to represent their views to the best of my ability.
Public infrastructure in Donegal needs significant investment, including the provision of broadband, roads, water, sewerage and flood defences. I will campaign vigorously to ensure that Donegal receives the necessary funding from the national exchequer.
I will provide, as I have done over the last 35 years, a constituency office that will deal with any matter regardless of how big or small the issue may be.