A Donegal TD has called on the Minister for Health and the management at the Saolta Hospital Group, that oversees Letterkenny General Hospital, to ensure the appointment of a second, permanent full-time endocrinologist team to tackle long waiting lists at the hospital for diabetes type 1 patients.
Donegal Sinn Féin TD, Padraig Mac Lochlainn made the call again following a response to his parliamentary question that gave no indication of any improvement in the waiting lists of up to 26 months in some instances.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:“The response from hospital management on behalf of the Minister is wholly unacceptable and frankly an insult to the intelligence of the people of Donegal. They refer to triage arrangements to ensure that urgent cases receive attention first and do not actually answer my question at all.
“I asked would the Minister ensure the appointment of a second permanent, full-time endocrinologist team to tackle the long waiting lists at the hospital for diabetes type 1 patients to see a consultant. This is essential according to the Donegal Diabetes Association. This question is just not answered.”
He added: “Waiting lists at the hospital overall are a disgrace but it is well know that the worst impacts of diabetes for patients can be avoided if given the appropriate and timely medical attention. It is particularly appalling that diabetes patients are having to wait so long to see a consultant.”
Deputy MacLochlainn’s Parliamentary Question asked: “* To ask the Minister for Health if he is aware that Diabetes Type 1 patients in County Donegal have a 26 month waiting time to see a consultant; if he will ensure the appointment of a second permanent, full-time endocrinologist team at Letterkenny General Hospital, County Donegal to address this serious situation.”
The response to him stated: “ I have examined the matter and the following outlines the position. The Consultant triages all referrals to determine the degree of urgency. All referrals triaged as urgent get priority access. All routine referrals are appointed in chronological order, i.e. those waiting longest get called first. All patients already in system (reviews) are under the Shared Care of GPs and the Consultant Endocrinologist.”