Fianna Fail councillor Vinny McCormack has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to intervene and ensure that an improved GP service is put in place at Ballymore Health Centre as a matter of urgency. Cllr McCormack has made the call having received confirmation this week that the current GP operating joint clinics in Ballymore and Ballymahon has resigned from the service.
"Over the past number of years we have seen the GP service provided to the patients of Ballymore Health Centre decline alarmingly," Cllr McCormack said.
"What was once an extremely busy clinic has in effect been relatively unused in recent times. I have been contacted throughout this time by numerous local residents who have complained that they could not get an appointment in Ballymore and have been repeatedly referred to the clinic in Ballymahon.
“This has been far from ideal as in many cases the patients involved would not have their own transport."
Cllr McCormack believes that the appointment of a new GP must involve stipulations as to the level of service provided in Ballymore.
"It is imperative that there is a guaranteed minimum service level put in place for Ballymore Health Centre in the order of three full clinics per week,” he said.
“I have written to the Minister for Health asking that he liaise with senior HSE management in the area to ensure these provisions are put in place. I have also highlighted to the Minister the extensive area which is covered by Ballymore Health Centre including Moyvore, Boher, Moyvoughley, and Drumraney, and the issues which patients from all of these areas have had in receiving appointments and care in a timely fashion over the past number of years.”
The HSE is due to commence the recruitment process for a new GP in the area by the end of August and it is understood that locum cover will be in place in the interim. “It is vital that this recruitment process is completed in a timely fashion and that a new GP is installed as soon as possible with adequate resources in place to provide a stable service to a steadily growing population,” Cllr McCormack added. “GP services are vital and with the right resources can be a big help in keeping our A&E departments clear for genuine emergencies. I will be pursuing this issue vigorously in the coming weeks to ensure such a service is in place for the people of Ballymore and the surrounding areas.”