The HSE’s delay in providing funding to refurbish a health centre in Co Galway is causing major concern to locals.
Fianna Fail county councillor Mary Hoade says the facility was closed in early August. She understood it would be short-term.
However, now she is not so sure. Addressing a meeting of the HSE West’s regional health forum at Merlin Park Hospital recently the Headford politician said months have passed yet there is “no sign” of the centre opening.
She submitted a written question on the matter to HSE management but told the meeting she was not happy with the answer.
The written response from Catherine Cunningham, the area manager of the HSE West’s Galway Roscommon Primary, Community and Continuing Care, department, explained that an application has been made to the HSE estates department for funding for the refurbishment of the centre and a plan for the work has been agreed.
She said the HSE is now awaiting confirmation from national level as to whether funding is being allocated and will begin work on the facility when this is received.
Cllr Hoade was concerned that the health authority was awaiting confirmation about the funding.
“Is it the intention of the HSE to open the centre?” she asked. She added that its temporary closure was “totally inconvenient” for people in the area.
Gerry O’Neill, the HSE West’s regional director for performance and integration, told the councillor that the reply she was given was the response local management had got from national headquarters.
He said he appreciated that it was frustrating but stressed that it was “absolutely his intention” to re-open the health centre.
Cllr Hoade said there had been an issue over a number of years regarding the need for minor repairs but then the facility was closed overnight in August.
“It’s not acceptable,” she said. “It’s minor repairs we are asking for.”