Mayo General Hospital is to benefit from the services of a rheumatologist for 10 hours a week, a meeting of the HSE West Regional Forum heard this week.
The position has been offered to a successful candidate and it is hoped the person will take up the post by July.
It is to be a shared post with Galway University Hospital which will see this service available there for 27 hours per week.
The availability of a rheumatologist will not lead to an increase in beds at Mayo General Hospital as most patients are treated on an out-patient basis, Fianna Fáil councillor Annie May Reape was told.
However Frank Murphy, HSE area manager in Mayo, said patients requiring hospitalisation will have access to general medical beds in the hospital.
Cllr Reape, who raised the issue at the HSE West Regional Forum, has been a long-standing campaigner for rheumatology services at Mayo General Hospital.
She has welcomed the announcement having made representations on behalf of “hundreds of adults and children suffering from arthritis in County Mayo”.
“Up to now these patients have been travelling to GUH for appointments and treatments, a journey which is far too stressful and uncomfortable for people in acute pain.
“I am delighted that the HSE has now offered the post to the successful candidate and that the position will be in place by July,” she said.