Saturday 25 November 2017

As our communities die out, we allow our doctors to leave

Before this century reaches middle age, we will look back at a time when the GP, the priest, the local garda and the postmistress were more than just a service
Before this century reaches middle age, we will look back at a time when the GP, the priest, the local garda and the postmistress were more than just a service

Lucia Gannon

Every GP in Ireland, young and old, has a decision to make. They are trained to diagnose, treat and care for your colicky new-born and your confused grandmother; figure out your headache and your chest pain, be it a crushing heart attack or a bit of indigestion; your painful knee and your 10-year-old's chicken pox.

They will help you decide if your mood is depression or just a low spell; they will answer your questions about the latest contraceptive device and the medication your father received from the consultant. They have it all on the computer and can tell you when you last had your eyes checked, your smear taken and your blood sugar tested.

They have been doing this since they first hung their certificates on the walls of their surgery, opened the door and said "next please".

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