Pringle says ‘health system on knees’ as Letterkenny admits record 594 without bed

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Donegal TD Thomas Pringle says ‘the healthcare system is on its knees’ after Letterkenny University Hospital recorded the highest number of patients ever admitted without a bed for the month of April.

“The healthcare system in this country is on its knees and needs a complete overhaul if we are serious about delivering universal healthcare.

"Waiting lists are constantly breaking record highs and access to sufficient healthcare is becoming increasingly difficult,” Deputy Pringle said in the Dáil on Wednesday.

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He spoke of extreme pressure at the main secondary care facility in Donegal this spring.

Letterkenny University HospitalLetterkenny University Hospital
Letterkenny University Hospital

“Last month, Letterkenny hospital broke another record: the longest ever waiting list for beds. Some 594 patients were admitted to the hospital without a bed, the highest number ever recorded at the hospital for the month of April.

"The health service in County Donegal and throughout the country is under severe pressure and this is having a detrimental impact on patients and their families, as well as staff. The system is broken and, unfortunately, the Government does not have the energy or ambition to fix it.

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"I do not see why it is such a radical idea to suggest that everyone in this country should have access to treatment when and as needed. We should be prioritising the urgency of care required and not people’s ability to pay,” he declared.

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The Killybegs-based TD went on to complain of a ‘two-tier health system’ which he branded ‘an absolute disgrace and one of the most shameful examples of inequality in our society’.

"It is deeply unfair that the only people who have a choice are those who can afford private healthcare,” he declared.

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