Cllr Andrew Reddington has stated that the current doctor shortage in the Headford area is of serious concern for many locals. He has called on government to start a financial scheme to entice doctors to rural areas.
“There is a national shortage of GPS and rural areas are the worst hit. It is hard for a doctor to set up a practice in a rural area,” he said.
Cllr Reddington has been told there is no quick fix to this due to shortages and finding it hard to attract rural doctors to rural areas.
“The fact that one in seven working GPs was over 65 meant many were retiring, while others were leaving rural general practice due to the various challenges.
“The situation is becoming a “self-perpetuating downward spiral” as working in particular areas is unattractive due to the expected workload,” he said, adding that he recently spoke to a doctor locally who is retiring shortly.
Cllr Reddington said that he has organized a meeting with Chief Officer for Community Healthcare West Breda Crehan Roche regarding the retirement of the GP position and the HSE informed him that her position has been advertised and interviews will be held in the next few weeks, if eligible applications are received for the position.
He feel that this will come as a relief for many patients, buthe added that he he has to wait until the interview process is complete before he can inform the public where the new doctor will be based.