Shock plans by the HSE to centralise ‘NowDoc’ cover for the Carndonagh area in Letterkenny have been slammed by Inishowen TD Charlie McConalogue as ‘totally unacceptable’.

Following a question at the health committee meeting in the Dail yesterday morning Deputy McConalogue received a written reply in which he was informed it was proposed to reduce cover for the NowDoc ‘red eye shift’ (from 11p.m to 8 a.m.) in both Carndonagh and Derrybeg.

Speaking with the ‘Journal’ yesterday a clearly annoyed Deputy McConalogue said: “This is putting the lives of people in the Carndonagh area at risk. If people get sick or their children get sick in the middle of the night they want the comfort of knowing medical help is close at hand and readily available. The fact that a doctor would now have to come from Letterkenny in an emergency situation is totally unacceptable. Letterkenny is way too far away.”

The Inishowen representative pointed out the detail of what was proposed was still unclear.

“I don’t have the full facts yet. There might one doctor on duty in Letterkenny, maybe two. If there is only one doctor and he/she is away on a call in Derrybeg we could be talking, quite literally, 4/5 hours before that doctor is available for any Carn emergency.

“On a winter’s night this situation could be even more complex if there is ice and snow on the ground and one GP is expected to travel over mountain territory in west Donegal to equally mountain territory in North Donegal.

“This is not on. There can be no compromise on this.

“There can be no dilution of the service which we currently have.”