Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has written to the HSE Head of Primary Care regarding the allocation of Dungarvan-based patients to a doctor in Cappoquin. The situation has arisen due to the retirement of a long-standing and much respected Dungarvan family doctor.
“Its not acceptable that patients based in Dungarvan would be assigned to a GP in Cappoquin without any regard for their specific medical needs or ability to travel. For those with complex medical conditions or mobility issues such a move will cause hardship and impact on accessibility. The recent letters of assignment issued by the HSE has already caused great anxiety, particularly amongst older and infirm patients.
“I have written to the HSE Head of Primary Care to complain about the manner in which patients were assigned a new GP, and asked that the assignments would be reviewed with regard to patient’s individual needs.
“The situation that has arisen in Dungarvan is a direct result of the widercrisis in general practice, where a shortage of doctors is causing chaos for tens of thousands of patients. The Irish College of General Practice has referred to a ‘severe shortage’, with 1,600 doctors required to cover current shortages, and an additional 500 to cover projected shortages due to retirement. At present Ireland is only training some 230 doctors per year and not all of these will enter general practice. The response of the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party coalition is to bury their heads in the sand.
“My colleague David Cullinane has raised this issue with the Minister for Health and has outlined what a Sinn Féin government would do to address the crisis. We need action to expand GP and primary care services now, to increase capacity in doctor training, and to explore the option of directly hired GPs where necessary. David and I will continue to work together to ease the impacts of the crisis on patients across Dungarvan and West Waterford.”