Future of Fourmilewater health centre secure

Nationalist Reporter

Reporter:

Nationalist Reporter

FOurmilewater Health Centre

The future of Fourmilewater Health Centre is secure.

The future of the crisis-hit Fourmilewater Health Centre is secure after the Health Services Executive (HSE) advertised a post for a new doctor to take over its patient list said Senator Pudie Coffey.

Fears had been raised locally that the Ballymacarbry-based health centre could close, with the services transferred to Clonmel, because it did not have a full-time doctor in place.

“The GP formerly in charge of the Centre, Dr David Janes, had been on long term sick leave, but the HSE has confirmed it is now activity seeking a full-time replacement” said Senator Coffey.

Senator Coffey said he is hopeful a full time GP will be appointed soon and that normal services will resume shortly.

Over the past three months the Fine Gael general election candidate has engaged behind -the-scenes with HSE management and the staff at Fourmilewater, which serves the communities of Ballymacarbery and a large catchment area covering Kilgobinet, Colligan, Kilbrien/Touraneena, The Nire, Newcastlel, Russelstown and Kilmacomma.

In the meantime locum doctors stepped in to keep the service going, supported by the existing practice nurse and secretary.

Senator Coffey commended the staff of Fourmilewater for the “professional manner and loyalty” they showed in keeping the practice open. He said he is confident the health centre has a bright future.

Senator Coffey said: “It critical that rural medical centres and General Practice doctors are supported by the Government, and by also the communities that they serve. I will highlight resource issues facing rural GPs ahead of the next budget negotiations directly with Health Minister Simon Harris and the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party.”

He added: “Primary Care has to be a key area for investment to take the pressure off our acute hospitals and A&E services. Rural medical centres like Fourmilewater must be adequately resources so that new GPs are attracted to rural areas to sustain medical services for people who reside in the catchment areas.”