Consultant claims hospice could close over funding row

The future of the Donegal Hospice is in doubt after the facility's medical director said HSE cutbacks will force him to close it.

Consultant Donal Martin says the hospice will not be able to accept any new patients from December 21st, and operations will be scaled down until all remaining patients have left.

Dr Martin says the HSE is not prepared to fund adequate medical coverage for the hospice, and he cannot safely maintain the service without three junior doctors, along with himself.

He says there's been a number of cutbacks in recent years, and this is now the straw that broke the camel's back...........

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/hspce1pm.mp3[/podcast]

However, the Chairperson of the Donegal Hospice Company which raises funds for the running of the building has questioned Dr Martin's assertion that cutting the number if doctors would render it unsafe.

Grace Boyle told today's Shaun Doherty Show that this is a threat which cannot be dealt with locally, it must be addressed by the HSE.......

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/gracepm.mp3[/podcast]