Fine Gael Ballina based Senator, Michelle Mulherin, has said she is seeking clarification from HSE management as to its plans to provide a permanent GP service for Lahardane, following the retirement of the local doctor in 2018.
Speaking recently she said: "I am also calling on HSE management to allay the fears of the people of Lahardane by opening proper channels of communication and to work with the community in resolving this issue."
Senator Mulherin made her comments after attending a public meeting in Lahardane to discuss the need to secure a doctor’s dispensary in the village and ensure that local people will continue to have access to a local GP.
She went on to say: "Since Dr Paul Nolan retired in August 2018, the community has been relying on a locum GP who was not always available and who is now set to leave at the end of this month. The community also lost its practice nurse at that time.
"It was hoped that a permanent replacement GP would be found along with a replacement practice nurse. Instead, it seems there may be another locum; though there is no official confirmation of this. Also there are concerns about the suitability and availability of GP surgery accommodation.
"I attended a public meeting in Lahardane the other night. There was a packed hall in attendance. People are making a stand as they are afraid that they are going to lose their GP service in this rural area with a dispersed population.
"There can be up on 1,500 people affected. Dr Nolan and Nurse Patricia Ryan provided an excellent service and are dearly missed. The situation as regards Dr Nolan's replacement has been in limbo for quite some time. There are a lot of unanswered questions and the HSE has not been forthcoming in providing information and allaying people's fears.
"I am calling on HSE management to do so immediately and to open proper channels of communication so as to work with the community so as to resolve this issue," concluded Senator Mulherin.