Saturday 24 March 2018

Criticism of progress on primary care

HSE say plans for second centre are progressing

Olivia Ryan

A Louth Councillor has highlighted his concerns about the 'lack of progress' in establishing a second primary care centre in Dundalk.

Councillor Tomás Sharkey spoke after submitting a query to the Regional Health Forum, Dublin and North East on the number of primary care centres in Dundalk, and what plans there are to increase that number.

In a written response, a spokesman for the HSE confirmed; 'There is currently one primary care centre operational in Dundalk, situated adjacent to the county council offices at St. Alphonsus Road. This facility accommodates the full range of primary care services other than a GP.'

The spokesman added 'It is intended that a second primary care centre will be provided through the HSE's 'operational lease' mechanism, and this is progressing satisfactorily. Final submissions have been received, and are currently under evaluation, with a view to identifying a preferred provider in the current year.'

But Cllr. Sharkey said he was 'exacerbated at the lack of progress in providing a second primary care centre in Dundalk.

'Primary Care Centres are locations where many health professionals are available in the one location. In Dundalk we have one on the Alphonsus Road.'

'I raised the issue again with the HSE and the response indicates that we are in the same position as we were under the last Fianna Fáil government years ago.'

'The response I received from the HSE indicates that there is no political commitment to the health of Dundalk people and certainly no urgency to provide important services,' said Cllr. Sharkey.

He concluded that it was 'time for accountability on this matter.'

The Argus