HSE Mishandling Of Thurles GP Vacancy Bordering On The Ridiculous – Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described the delay by the HSE in filling the vacant GP position in Thurles as inept and a source of concern to other rural communities. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the replacement doctor could not be formally put in place due to an apparent mix up with the required paper work:

“It can hardly be a coincidence that when the HSE are taking something from somebody their commitment to paperwork is ruthlessly efficient; but when the community or an individual asks for something, then it is the total opposite and the paperwork becomes complex and liable to delay.

People in Thurles will be looking at this situation and thinking, quite reasonably, that they are not really a priority for the HSE if the arrival of the new GP can be held up by something like paperwork.

The inept handling of this situation is similar to the fiasco that occurred in Bansha during 2015 and 2016 when the local GP campaign there was being told that allocation of a fully resourced GP was imminent while at the same time I was categorically being told by the same HSE that major problems remained.

We know that rural GPs have experienced a 40% reduction to their income as a result of cuts to fees and allowances introduced under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009, and we know that rural communities are on the verge of suffering considerable loss of services with 157 GP’s expected to retire by 2021.

In light of that, rural communities need a far more coherent response from the HSE and indeed the Minister for Health who to the best of my knowledge, does not seem to grasp the scale of the problem that is coming down the road for rural Ireland,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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