Dáil debates

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions

 

12:30 pm

Photo of Thomas PringleThomas Pringle (Donegal, Independent)

There is no need for the Tánaiste to provide up-to-date figures on Letterkenny. I gave the up-to-date figures in my opening remarks and they show the seriousness of the situation. Unfortunately, even if the Government's plan works, it will not solve any problems in Letterkenny because what needs to be addressed there is the recruitment and retention of consultants and of ancillary staff to allow those consultants actually to do their jobs. That is the reality.

The Irish Hospital Consultants Association, IHCA, has said that the maintenance of the FEMPI wage cuts is causing the problem of the recruitment of consultants. Reversing those cuts might go some way towards alleviating the problem. I also suggest that there is an alternative, which is to do a deal to recruit Cuban doctors into the Irish medical system. This has been working in Portugal and Sweden, both of which are in the EU. Cuban doctors are working in both countries and are alleviating some of their recruitment problems. We should do that now, as another step to try to deal with this issue.

For years to come, the pandemic and the cyberattack are going to be used to explain why we have not delivered but that is not good enough any more. Even if we deal with these issues, Letterkenny will be back in the same situation it was in prior to the pandemic.

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