Monday 19 March 2018

McDaid fighting to save hospice

Anita Guidera

CONTROVERSIAL former TD Dr James McDaid has already embarked on a fight to save a local hospice -- just hours after he resigned his Dail seat.

The retired Donegal North East representative went to ground yesterday as the Coalition was left reeling by a High Court ruling saying the Government had offended the spirit of the Constitution by failing to hold the long-awaited Donegal South-West by-election in Mr McDaid's neighbouring constituency.

Behind the scenes, the outspoken GP has begun the battle to save the eight-bed Donegal Hospice from threatened closure after claims no new patients would be admitted from next month because of a lack of funding.

Palliative medicine consultant Dr Donal Martin insisted the hospice could not continue to admit new patients in the new year "for safety reasons".

He blamed the Health Service Executive (HSE) for not renewing a third medical post, which he said was the minimum requirement for a safe service.

But his claims have been refuted by an angry Dr McDaid, who is the honorary president of the Donegal Hospice.

"Let me tell you as president it will be over our dead bodies that the hospice will close on December 31. This is a matter between Dr Martin and the HSE," he told Highland radio on Tuesday.

The HSE last night insisted it had no plans to shut down the in-patient unit in Letterkenny.

Irish Independent

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