Donegal North-East TD Charlie McConalogue has called on the Health Minister and the HSE to immediately set a date for the reinstatement of rheumatology services in Donegal.

The Fianna Fáil TD is demanding a firm commitment from Minister James Reilly and the HSE to fully reinstate the rheumatology service at Letterkenny General Hospital without further delay.

“We cannot continue to have a situation where so many Donegal patients are forced to travel to Manorhamilton for rheumatology services. It is completely unacceptable,” said Deputy McConalogue.

“Over a year ago the HSE confirmed to me that this important frontline health service would be resumed as soon as they reached agreement on a service model. But despite the fact that suitable accommodation is available, I have now been told that there is still no sign of the service being resumed.

“The Health Minister and the HSE are still expecting Donegal patients who suffer acute pain as a result of their condition to make the arduous journey to Manorhamilton rather than bringing an appropriate consultant to Letterkenny to hold rheumatology clinics. It makes absolutely no sense. It’s further proof of this Government’s dismissal of the needs of patients in Donegal and Minister Reilly’s skewed priorities.”

He added: “I am calling on Health Minister to intervene immediately to progress the negotiations on service model for Donegal rheumatology services.

“Donegal patients cannot be expected to wait any longer for ready access to this important health service. I intend to raise this issue directly with the Minister on the floor of the Dáil and I will continue to push for the reinstatement of rheumatology services in Letterkenny,”

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