Attempts by Donegal’s three TD’s to get an independent inquiry into the death of Carndonagh woman, Maura Porter, have failed.
It was confirmed at the weekend that Health Minister James Reilly has asked the health inquiry body, HIQA, to look into delays nationally in the ambulance service but has not sactioned a separate investigation into how Mrs Porter was left lying at the side of the road for almost an hour after being knocked down near her home in Carndonagh on December 30th.
When contacted yesterday Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn said he was ‘ deeply disappointed’ by the decision.
He said: “Joe McHugh, Charlie McConalogue and myself all raised the issue of Maura Porter’s death in the Dail and with the Minister.
“Joe called for an independent inquiry and we all supported that.
“Unfortunately, the minister has gone for the safe option of making it a general inquiry .
“This is not what Maura’s family wanted, and it’s not good enough.”
A clearly annoyed Deputy MacLochlainn said this was another example of how Donegal and its people were being treated in regard to the provission of ‘proper health services’. He cited the example of Letterkenny General Hospital
He said: “Right now Letterkenny General Hospital has the lowest budget in the country; it has the lowest staff ratio and while it has 6,000 more in-patients per year than Sligo it is the latter which has ‘regional’ status which is worth another million euro a year. “We have been shafted for years, make no mistake about that. It is our view that the general public are unaware of the true extent of this problem and the devastating consequences it could have on our hospital services.”
Deputy MacLochlainn confirmed that both he and Sinn Fein party colleague, Pearse Doherty, will be announcing details of a public information meeting in the coming weeks in order to inform people in the county of the situation and to embark on a campaign to mobilise public support for the Hospital.
He said “The campaign will focus on three main objectives – to ensure that Letterkenny General Hospital is given a Regional Hospital status, to achieve a fair budget for the Hospital and to ensure appropriate staffing levels to prevent loss of key services in the Hospital.