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Sunday 18 November 2018

€10m and rising – bill for damage at flooded hospital

Kate Heaney and Eilish O'Regan

THE flooding crisis at Donegal's main hospital, which left the county without an emergency department, will cost at least €10m to repair.

The new €22m emergency medical section at Letterkenny General, along with sections of the older hospital, may be demolished, pushing up the bill even further.

A number of nurses from the hospital are also being asked to transfer temporarily to Altnagelvin in Derry to cope with the overflow of emergencies from Donegal.

Taxis would have to be deployed to ferry the nurses to and from the counties.

The granting of planning permission for the new emergency unit was conditional on a flood report being provided for the site.


Planning authorities in Donegal have been aware of serious flooding concerns at the site since 1998 when the old mortuary was flooded.

The new building flooded in December 2011 before it was opened.

Around 40pc of the entire hospital campus was rendered inoperable after Friday's flood.

Millions of euro in medical equipment has been destroyed, thousands of patient files soaked in contaminated water, walls and floors contaminated and the hospital only able to offer extremely limited services.

Critical facilities such as X-ray and CT scanners have been destroyed.

Maternity, gynaecology, paediatric, chemotherapy, dialysis and limited psychiatric admissions are operating, but the majority of the rest of the hospital services are out, including the kitchens.

The mobile kitchens used for the G8 summit in Fermanagh last month are to be brought to Letterkenny next week.

Altnagelvin in Derry and Sligo Hospitals are taking emergency patients from Donegal with the Coastguard helicopter on standby 24/7 to evacuate emergency cases.

Irish Independent

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