Lowry demands better HSE viability for GP care Rural Ireland health care under attack
Deputy Michael Lowry has called for immediate action in relation to the current Bansha GP crisis. With the current General Practitioner retiring, the position to fill this post has been advertised; however, with the closing date for applications fast approaching, no interest in securing this position has, as yet, been registered.
“In the past a ‘Rural Practice Allowance’, was paid to assist Doctors with essential operating costs. This allowance is no longer being offered to replacement physicians. The withdrawal of this ‘Rural Practice Allowance’ to such areas automatically deprives patients the right to attract doctors into rural communities; making GP practices no longer viable.
Medical General Practices are dying nationally but in particular the area of County Tipperary. Post after post in the Irish countryside are falling vacant, with no incentive to attract health professionals, many of whom have left this country in favour of superior opportunities abroad.
This most recent issue further highlights the challenges that rural dwellers face on a day-to-day bases. The village of Bansha and its surrounding areas is yet another example of how rural Ireland is constantly under attack. In recent months, Bansha has lost most of its transport services involving the transfer of very ill individuals to hospitals for treatment or appointments. Having lost the services of their local post office, they now also face the genuine possibility that they will lose the most basic of human rights; that of any local health care.
Bansha’s heath care centre currently provides professional quality service to the local community, together with parts of Cahir, Golden and the Glen of Aherlow. Presently between Medical Card holders & private patients, the local area takes care of over 2,000 individuals. With free GP care being rolled out nationally for under 6’s and over 70’s, it is ludicrous to think that those now eligible will find themselves in acute emergency cases where no doctor will be found in the village of Bansha.
I have been in contact with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and have requested that they immediately make a fully focused and determined effort to viably attract a GP to fill this rural position” concluded Michael Lowry.