Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the progress that has been made in the establishment of a general practitioner out-of -hours service for North Wicklow. He has however said that a clear timeframe must be provided for when the service will become live.
After receiving an update from the HSE Deputy Brady said “I welcome the progress report from the HSE, however at this stage we need a clear timeframe as to when the badly needed GP out-of -hours service for North Wicklow will become live.”
“In the progress update from the HSE they confirm that Northdoc was the successful bidder and that a project team has been established. The team consists of senior representatives from Northdoc, as well as from HSE Primary Care. The project team is currently establishing a new treatment centre in St Columcille’s Hospital, and upgrading existing treatment centres in St Michael’s Hospital Dun Laoghaire and St Vincent’s University Hospital.”
“I’m further advised that vehicles necessary for the provision of domiciliary visits have been ordered, treatment centres are ready for use and IT and telecoms systems have been installed and tested. Northdoc are also in the process of recruiting staff.”
Brady concluded “Sinn Féin has been campaigning for a GP out-of-hours service now for a number of years and we successfully managed to get the delivery of one back on track, this came about after many false promises from the Minister for Health Simon Harris. North Wicklow is one of the last areas in the State not to have a dedicated HSE funded GP out-of-hours service. Until now people in areas such as Bray, Greystones, Enniskerry and Kilmacanogue have had a private arrangement that was put in place by a number of GP’s, in reality it didn’t work and I’ve been informed that at the weekend GP’s from England were flying in to provide cover.”
Greystones Sinn Féin councillor Nicola Lawless who campaigned for the service said “This service is long overdue and when rolled out will bring an end to current disgraceful situation where people are left waiting many hours and in some cases days to see a GP. This is a critical part of Primary Care and will also ensure that people will no longer, out of sheer desperation be forced to go to overcrowded A&E’s to see a doctor.”
Deputy Brady concluded “The delivery of this important and long overdue service can’t be allowed to drag on any longer and a clear timeframe for the opening of the service must be outlined immediately.”