Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Older People, Jim Daly TD visited Donegal on Tuesday to engage with the local community in relation to the Community Hospital network in the County.
During a meeting with the Friends of Lifford Hospital committee in Lifford, the Minister commended the work of the committee and encouraged them to continue the good work which they have carried out to date.
Local Fine Gael Minister, Joe McHugh TD commented “I was happy to facilitate the meeting between Minister Daly and the group this evening. I met with the group recently and they are a committed group of people and I am always encouraged by their dedication and professionalism. I look forward to working constructively with them to chart a way forward for the community of Lifford. In relation to St Josephs Hospital and Ramelton Community Hospital, there is currently a capital application submission with the HSE relating to the hospitals at Stranorlar and Ramelton and I remain confident, as I always have been, that a positive decision will be forthcoming.”
Minister Daly accompanied by Minister McHugh and Finn Valley Councillor, Martin Harley also visited St Joseph’s Community Hospital meeting with patients, staff and management before travelling to Jackson’s Hotel for a public meeting.
Speaking in relation to the additional capacity required in Community Hospitals, Minister McHugh stated ‘’The recent National Development Plan committed to creating additional bed capacity to build a better health service for the future.As part of this an additional 4,500 additional long term and short term residential beds in Community Nursing Homes in the public system will be made available. This is vital so that people can receive care close to home in their own communities. This commitment will help the health service respond to demographic changes and our community hospitals in Donegal will be vital in delivering this care. I have recently discussed this with Minister Simon Harris and I look forward to working with him and Minister Daly in this regard.’’
Cllr Martin Harley stated ‘’I would like to thank Minister Daly for visiting the Finn Valley and for meeting with patients and staff at St Joseph’s. I was delighted to hear him state clearly that he is not in the business of closing beds. He was very impressed with the hospital during his visit and he spoke with management, staff and patients. It was also important for him to hear the concerns of the local community and I welcome the positive engagement of those in attendance at the public meeting.’’
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