Fine Gael’s Paudie Coffey says it has been confirmed to him two new primary care centres will be opened in Waterford city and Dungarvan in the coming months.
The first will be a state of the art centre based on the grounds of St Joseph’s Hospital in Dungarvan, expected to open next month. While the second will open at St Otteran’s Hospital in Waterford City within the next 4 months. Another primary centre will open in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary.
Senator Coffey says the centres will help bring services back to communities: “It’s a culmination of a change in policy made years ago where the last Fine Gael-Labour Government implemented policies to develop these primary care centres in the heart of communities so that they can service the health needs of our citizens.”
The news comes as University Hospital Waterford announces visiting restrictions due to an outbreak of flu. UHW requests that people stay away unless it is absolutely critical.
Meanwhile a Government report shows up to nine thousand beds are needed over the next decade to reduce overcrowding and waiting lists. According to the Irish Times, it also says the number of additional beds could be reduced by up to two and a half thousand if reform proposals by Sláintecare are implemented.
This would include heavily investing in healthcare services in the community. Paudie Coffey told WLR News that he supports the Sláintecare proposals: “I think we’re all agreed – across all political parties – that we need to bring health services more to the community. We need to treat the likes of primary care and minor surgeries in these centres to take the pressure off the acute hospitals like University Hospital Waterford.”