Frustration as funding for St. Joseph’s and Ramelton Hospitals still not approved

A Donegal Deputy has slammed the Government and HSE after it was confirmed this week that funding for the long awaited redevelopment of St. Joseph's and Ramelton Community Hospitals has still not been sanctioned.

Deputy Pearse Doherty has described the situation as shameful and says that as a result, the futures of these services remain shrouded in doubt until such a time as funding is sanctioned.

The admission contained in a HSE response to a recent Dáil question tabled by Deputy Doherty, comes some three years after the futures of the hospitals were thrown into question, following the announcement that long term residential care beds would be closed at St. Joseph's and Ramelton and replaced by a new nursing unit in Letterkenny.

The move was to be as part of the Government's programme of investment in public nursing homes between 2016 and 2021.

After considerable local backlash following the announcement, the HSE were forced to roll back on their plans and instead pledged that long term residential care in the two community hospitals would be refurbished and retained.

Three years later, no funding has been pledged with Deputy Doherty describing the situation as shameful.

He says that local communities continue to be 'fobbed off' by the Government and HSE, while the futures of these vital services remain 'shrouded in doubt'.