There has been widespread shock with the news that just 1 out of 120 Advanced Nurse Practitioners has been allocated to Letterkenny University Hospital.

Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has conveyed his shock saying the move is an insult to diabetes patients.

Senator Mac Lochlainn said “This summer, the Donegal Oireachtas members were present at a meeting in Dublin between the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, his senior officials and the Donegal branch of Diabetes Ireland.

“At that meeting the Minister assured all present that he would support the application by Letterkenny University Hospital management for the positions of a paediatrics Advanced Nurse Practitioner (with the role into transition services to adult clinics), plus a second ANP in adult services who would also develop a speciality in pump therapy for adults.

“This was to address the fact that the number of health care professionals at Letterkenny University Hospital is only half that required to support the numbers of persons with diabetes type 1 (700) and type 2 (6,000) in Donegal.

“This has led to absolutely shocking waiting times of around two years or over twenty months for a recall appointment for diabetes patients in the county”.

It has now been confirmed that these two important ANP posts have been refused by the HSE and the Department of Health.

The Sinn Fein politician said this is an insult to diabetes care campaigners in Donegal and it is totally unacceptable.

He added “Indeed, out of 120 ANP posts allocated to hospitals across the State, only one came to Letterkenny University Hospital. I also understand that an application for an ANP for the hospital’s A&E Department was turned down despite the well documented pressures on that department.

“I am demanding answers from Minister Harris and I am demanding that he urgently meet with the Donegal branch of Diabetes Ireland to address their serious concerns”.