Emergency Medicine Association warns A&E services at LGH could be compromised

The President of the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine says Letterkenny General Hospital's Emergency Department could be compromised by the HSE decision to freeze recruitment at all levels.

The IAEM says it's especially worried that the hiring of essential frontline staff to man 24 hour emergency departments will be prohibited from August 15th.

Presidnet Fergal Hickey, an A&E Consultant at Sligo General Hospital says he doesn't believe the HSE has any intention of closing the unit in Letterkenny, but if a blanket ban on hiring locum doctors is implemented, then that's what will happen............

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/hicky1.mp3[/podcast]

In a statement to Highland Radio News this morning, the HSE said There are 5 Non Consultant Hospital  Doctor vacancies at Letterkenny General Hospital these positions are currently being filled by locum Medical staff to ensure continuity of service.

The allocation of NCHDs to Letterkenny General from the India and Pakistan recruitment initiative has commenced, and the HSE anticipates that doctors recruited from this initiative will fill the remaining vacancies in the coming weeks and months.

However, Fergal Hickey says this will not solve the problem............

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/hicky2.mp3[/podcast]