Letterkenny hospital surgeon claims health service is failing patients

A Donegal-based surgeon has hit out after problems in the under pressure health service resulted in his operations being cancelled.

Dr Peter O’Rourke, who is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Letterkenny University Hospital, has spoken out in the past to deliver hard-hitting, blunt assessments of conditions at the county’s largest hospital.

In his latest warning, Dr O’Rourke has claimed the Government “doesn’t give a damn” about people living in chronic pain and prioritises cancer patients.

He last year similarly warned: “If you have cancer, your surgery will get prioritised. It’s unlikely that you will be cancelled.

“If you don’t have cancer, you are very far down the pecking order.”


Dr O’Rourke – who has 130 patients waiting for hip operations – has now repeated those warnings, according to the Irish Daily Mail’s extra.ie news website.

It quotes him: “I have elderly patients suffering and there’s nothing I can do about it. There are no beds for them.

“I operated yesterday on a patient who’s been waiting two years for their hip operation.

“If you don’t have cancer, then the health service isn’t really interested in you.”

The HSE has vowed that hospitals are working hard to return to normal after delays caused by Storm Emma and have stated that hospitals are looking at a rescheduling plan from next week for operations which were cancelled.

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