One woman, no GP, no car, and a family of five
FOR mother-of-five Aine Sheehan (right), not having a local GP has become an expensive inconvenience.
Ms Sheehan's family have a number of health issues, and access to a doctor is crucial.
Unfortunately, her home town of Doneraile in north Cork currently has no permanent doctor, despite a population of almost 5,000.
There have been no applications for the GP vacancy in the rural town -- despite it being advertised twice in recent months.
Because there were no applications for the post, the HSE has agreed to support a temporary GP for six months to see if he can gain enough patients to make the practice feasible.
Over recent years Ms Sheehan -- who has no car -- has had to travel between five and 10 miles to attend GP surgeries in nearby towns.
Four of Ms Sheehan's children have had health issues over recent times.
Her eldest son Denis (16) had a cancer scare, as did his younger brother Miles (13). Aine's daughter, Colette (11), has Down Syndrome and is a wheelchair user due to mobility problems.
Her son Dylan (8) has been fortunate to escape health problems, though the youngest in the family, Christopher (4), is undergoing tests for hearing difficulties.