Surgeon in Letterkenny says cancelling surgeries is becoming ‘the norm’

The cancellation of elective surgeries is becoming ‘the norm’ in Letterkenny Hospital, according to a consultant there.

Orthopaedic Surgeon Peter O’Rourke says his list has been cancelled again today as the hospital tries to deal with 46 patients waiting on trolleys.

Speaking to Ocean FM News this evening, he says unfortunately, this situation is becoming too common and he has hit out at the government’s new health plan as “utopian and egalitarian”.

Overcrowding remains a problem at accident and emergency departments in the region today with Letterkenny University Hospital the busiest in the country.

There are currently 46 patients waiting for a bed there and management at the hospital has once again had to implement what is known as “a Full Capacity Protocol”.

This basically means they have to free up beds and cancel elective surgeries as part of the plan in order to deal with the number of emergency cases.

Speaking to Ocean FM News this evening Peter O’Rourke, an orthopaedic surgeon in Letterkenny says the number of surgeries done so far this year is half of what they normally do:

Yesterday the Oireachtas Healthcare Committee proposed an ambitious 10 year health plan and tackling waiting lists is one of the aims.

It proposes that by 20-23 no-one should wait for more than 12 weeks for an inpatient procedure, 10 weeks for outpatient appt, 10 DAYS for diagnostic test.

Mr. O’Rourke has described the plan as “utopian”:

Management in Letterkenny are asking people to only attend the Emergency Department in the case of real emergencies and they should contact their GP or GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance.

Elsewhere in the region, at Galway University College Hospital there are 36 patients waiting in the A&E.

While there are ten people waiting for a bed in Sligo University Hospital.

Nationally, there are 448 people on trolleys in hospitals in the country.