Donegal Sinn Féin Councillor Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has learned that senior management are meeting with the staff of Letterkenny General Hospital today when it is expected that significant cuts to staff numbers and frontline services will be revealed.
Cllr. Mac Lochlainn said:
“Sinn Féin is deeply concerned at the depth of the cuts to staff numbers and services expected to be revealed by senior management to the staff of Letterkenny General Hospital tomorrow. Whilst we will not know the full extent of the cuts until the meeting has taken place, it is expected that management will announce the loss of up to 250 temporary staff across all departments, the closure of elective surgery until Christmas and their intent to end the use of locum consultants.
“Sinn Féin representatives will be seeking an urgent meeting with hospital and HSE management to discuss the impact of the proposed cuts for the people of Donegal and beyond. If the reports we have received tonight are correct let there be no doubt in the HSE or Department of Health’s minds, Sinn Féin will be actively opposing any and all cuts that impact on the delivery of frontline services to the people of this region, and we intend to fully support the trade union movement in its actions to oppose the cuts.
“The governments pre-budget propaganda machine has had its shoulder to the wheel over the last couple of weeks. The budget deficit has to be addressed but the monies cannot be sought from the sick and the vulnerable. Fianna Fáil and the Green’s have choices. They can for example choose to drop NAMA, or if they will not shelve this 54 billion bank bail-out, they could pay the market value of the bad loans, as advised domestically and internationally, saving billions of the peoples euros that could be redirected to critical public services such as health, education and indeed desperately needed job retention and creation initiatives.”