The plight of a rural GP practice in County Waterford has been raised in the Seanad
Fine Gael’s Paudie Coffey says it’s not good enough that Fourmilewater Health Centre in Ballymacarbry remains without a permanent GP.
The HSE held interviews for a full-time doctor’s post in in July and the winning candidate was due to sign a contract at the end of last month.
Senator Coffey says there’s still no sign of a new GP.
He told the house that he has “particular concerns about primary healthcare in rural areas”.
“I want to raise one specific example with the acting Leader and ask that he uses his good office to negotiate with the Minister for Health.
“The matter relates to the Four Mile Water Health Centre in County Waterford. Some years ago a modern clinic was built there by the HSE.
“Approximately six months ago, the resident GP resigned from his contract and a new GP contract was advertised on 18 June. Four months later, no new appointment has been made, which has caused concern in a vast rural area in County Waterford and south Tipperary. The areas affected include the Nire, Four Mile Water, Ballymacarbry, Newcastle, Touraneena, Colligan and Kilbrien. Patients from all these areas attend this practice, which is currently being manned by the staff and locum doctors.
“More than a month ago, I received written assurances from the HSE that the new contract appointment was imminent but there has been no progress.It is frustrating. It is causing uncertainty for patients and it is not good enough. I ask the Acting Leader to use his influence with the HSE to ensure that a GP is appointed as soon as possible.
“On a wider issue, the House should have a debate on the future of primary health services.”
Senator Neale Richmond said that he “will bring to the Minister of Health’s attention that we need a debate on the issue of primary care”.