Sunday 17 December 2017

Reilly defends centre against its critics

While some have criticised the length of time taken to deliver the Balbriggan Primary Care Centre, others have dismissed its arrival as 'window dressing' and says it will not bring additional services but centralise existing ones.

Local Sinn Féin TD, Louise O'Reilly described the facility as 'window dressing' earlier this year, as the HSE announced the building's construction was completed.

Deputy O'Reilly said the HSE Service Plan for 2017 shows that 'the new primary care centre in Balbriggan will not have any new staff employed, any additional beds or any additional capital spending'.

The Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson said: the Government's primary care programme was 'window dressing' and was 'providing new buildings but no new staff'.

But Senator James Reilly who put the centre on the national agenda as Minister for Health is still a big supporter of the facility and defended it against its critics who he accused of 'scaremongering'.

He said: 'A new modern Primary Care Centre will present attractive opportunities for our young doctors to work in Balbriggan and offer a comprehensive service to the local community.

'Balbriggan has a currently has a population of 25,000 with 7,000 kids in schools in the area. The town is growing at pace and is predicted to grow to 35,000 over the next few years.

'Mental Health services in the town are being moved to the Primary Care Centre from its existing location at Hampton Street in Balbriggan to the bright new spacious Primary Care Centre.'

He added: 'Primary Health Networks have been established with the key objectives of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes, and improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.'

The Primary Care Centre has had a long and difficult birth and it will now be down to the people who use it in Balbriggan to determine whether or not it is a success.

Fingal Independent

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