Mulranny doctor Jerry Cowley will run as an independent candidate in the General Election as part of a national campaign by GPs in rural Ireland. Dr Cowley, who has a practice in Mulranny for 35 years, is the second candidate to be put forward by the No Doctor, No Village, campaign. The first candidate was Dr Michael Harty of Kilmihil, Co Clare, who made his announcement earlier in January.
Dr Cowley said: “We have exhausted all avenues democratically to have fair play for patients in having adequate practice supports to our communities, including asking our local TDs for support and sending a delegation to Leinster House to meet with the Fine Gael health committee, all to no avail. Our only option now is to go to the electorate where I am confident we can show and make clear the difficulties facing the people of rural Ireland in particular, and how the cuts to allowances in recent years have left rural GP practices struggling annually to remain open and give a proper service to their vulnerable patients living in isolated areas in particular.”
Continuing, Dr Cowley said “ There are currently approx 25 GP vacancies across the state, and approx 900 GPs planning to retire or leave the profession within the next five years. Rural Ireland has been decimated with the closures of the local post office, public transport, Garda stations, and shops which have left people feeling undervalued and undermined.”
He continued: "I have worked tirelessly and accomplished much on your behalf, including securing a state-of-the-art Mayo orthopaedic unit, and other essential health and social improvements for Mayo. I served your needs as an Independent TD for Mayo from 2002 to 2007, being the first elected at that time. I want to continue that important work to ensure that you the people of Mayo become the number one priority in our struggling health service, and to ensure other essential services are retained and built on in our county."