Three new primary care centres were announced for Mayo this week as part of a bundle of 14 centres across the country, the three new centres will be located in Ballinrobe, Claremorris, and Westport. The centres are being funded by The European Investment Bank.
Welcoming the Mayo constituency (Claremorris and Westport ) centres this week, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "Local people will be able to access a wide range of services including GP, community nursing, dental, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work, speech and language therapy, mental health, counselling, home help, and nutrition. It is envisaged that they will be open at least five days a week, with extra hours at weekends and evenings for some services.
“The reason the Government has been prioritising the delivery of primary care centres is so that people can access top quality health care close to home in their local community. This is more convenient for the patient and takes pressure off our hospitals.
“With the economic recovery continuing apace, Fine Gael is determined to use the resulting economic resources to deliver better services to create the kind of fair and just society that will improve the lives of everyone."
Minister of State for Regional Economic Development Michael Ring welcomed the news. Speaking about the Westport primary care centre he said: “Start-up activities are expected on all sites from Monday May 30. The total staff complement for the Westport Primary Care Centre will be in the region of 20 staff. One local GP practice has already signed a lease agreement to locate their practice in this centre. Once up and running the Westport Primary Care Centre will be a valuable asset for the people of Westport and the surrounding areas and I welcome the further progress on this matter.”
Tony Canavan, the HSE’s chief officer for the area, said: “The construction of these state of the art primary care centres, strategically located throughout our region, will provide us with the much needed infrastructure to deliver primary care services that will match the very best available across Europe to the people of the west of Ireland.”
The aim of primary care centres is to provide patients with various health services locally. In many cases, patients can be treated in their local primary care centre without the need of going to hospital. Primary care teams around Ireland include GPs, public health nursing, allied health professionals, and home helps. Many primary care centres act as a hub for Health and social care networks which consist of various health services including social workers, speech and language therapists, dental services, dietitians, and other health care professionals. PCCs have also facilitated the delivery of new services such as counselling, retinal screening, and GP ultrasound services.