Independent TD Michael Lowry has welcomed the recent added financial investment to our health sector, including the €40m announced for home care services. Same comes as part of the extra €500 million which has been added to our already overall Health Service Budget nationally for 2016, by Minister for Health Mr Simon Harris.
However Lowry warned, “Despite this new welcome allocation, serious challenges still continue to remain within the service, with demands for home help and home care packages continuing to grow.”
In particular Lowry pointed out, “Patients who are medically ready for hospital discharge continue to remain waiting in much needed hospital beds, due to our inability to access and put in place home supports.”
“More access to home supports” stated Lowry, “could see patients living at home; instead of remaining in long-term residential care, should these appropriate services be made more readily available. This said problems are also arising in the number of older people already in receipt of home care, who have been identified as not receiving the number of help hours needed.
“It is readily acknowledged that many more patients could be at home”, continued Lowry, “where they themselves want to be; where their families want them to be; and where Government policy says they should be. However we are simply not providing these necessary homecare supports and this present situation goes completely against Governmental stated objectives of caring for individuals within our communities.
In particular over the past number of years Health Care in its entirety across Tipperary has faced utter devastation through serious financial cuts, e.g South Tipp General Hospital, Our Lady’s hospital Cashel, Dean Maxwell Roscrea, Mount Sion Tipperary, the effects of which can only be described as terrifying and a gross burden on our most vulnerable. To this end I will now be seeking an assurance from Minister Harris that a fair share of this much needed new funding will be made available to Co. Tipperary.
This new investment in our community care services is indeed a most positive development, however we now need to put in place a system that provides for more appropriate homecare services and packages. This will enable many more of our citizens to return to live in their own homes under a more tailored care plan, which in turn will be one step closer to solving our current hospital overcrowding”, concluded Lowry.
Lowry calls on HSE to reverse its decision not to fill the vacancy of Registrar for Thurles Civil Registration Services Office
Michael Lowry TD has called on the HSE to fill the vacant post at the offices of the Civil Registration Service, situated at St. Mary’s Health Centre, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
“The previous Registrar has recently retired after a lifetime of dedicated service. The HSE have confirmed that there is no immediate plan to re-appoint a replacement officer to this now vacant position.
The HSE’s Civil Registration Service plays a most important role in our community; being responsible for assisting people to register births, together with marriages, civil partnerships and deaths.
This recent dilemma yet again highlights the immense challenges currently faced by Irish rural dwellers on a day-to-day bases. In particular, services provided by the HSE, are dying nationally; but not more so than those currently being experienced within the rural constraints of Co. Tipperary. Currently within our Health Service, post after post in our rural areas are falling vacant, with no incentive to attract suitable personnel.
In the past the Thurles Civil Registration Office has provided a professional and quality service to the local community. This same service has been undertaken in conjunction with parts of South Tipperary, Dundrum and Cappawhite, together with Templemore and Borrisoleigh. In the case of individual citizens originating from Tipperary and now residing abroad; they too have greatly benefited from the provision of these services.
I am well aware that there are other Civil Registration Service offices in Nenagh, Roscrea, and Cashel which open 3 half days only on a weekly basis; while Clonmel offers a morning-only service to the public; caused by a retirement and the death of a staff member. The filling of a fulltime replacement position in Thurles is therefore now essential.
I have been in contact with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and have requested that they immediately make a full, focused and determined effort to attract a fulltime Registrar to fill this most essential post” concluded Michael Lowry.
Failure to install new CT scanner at South Tipperary General Hospital is causing unnecessary inconvenience to seriously ill patients
Deputy Lowry Highlights CT Scanner Issues at South Tipperary General Hospital
A current CT scanner which is over 16 years old and presently installed at South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel has malfunctioned yet again. The immediate consequence of this equipment failure is that Tipperary patients are being transported to other hospitals in the region, to undergo urgent and necessary CT Scans.
“The absurdity of this issue, which I highlighted today, becomes even more ludicrous when we discover that there already exists a brand new CT scanner still packed in its box, waiting to be installed at the South Tipperary facility for almost 3 years. While it is understood that works are underway to install this new scanner I have been informed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) that it will be towards the end of 2016 before same is available for patients use.
As a result of the old CT scanner breaking down yet again, Hospital staffs are now obliged to transport urgent patients to facilities believed to include Waterford (52 min or 47.1km or 30 mls) and Limerick (1h-24 min or 82.6km or 51mls) depending on availability, for necessary CT Scans.
This incompetent state of affairs is causing unnecessary inconvenience to seriously ill patients, c the ambulance service and an overworked hospital staff, while also costing an already underfunded HSE unnecessary extra expense” concluded Michael Lowry T.D.
Deputy Michael Lowry welcomes the inclusion of the Rural Practice Allowance for the GP vacancy in Bansha.
As predicted for the past week the HSE have finally announced that the Rural Practice Financial Incentive Support package has been agreed in respect of the GP vacancy in Bansha. This package will allow for the position to be re-advertised and I am confident it will now attract a number of applications. The Action Committee lead by Andrew O’Halloran and the local community are to be complimented on taking the incentive to highlighting the issue. Through their resilience and determination they have succeeded in receiving a positive outcome. The Action Committee will meet with next week with officials from the HSE to discuss the implementation of the welcomed decision.
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.
DEPUTY MICHAEL LOWRY APPLAUDS THE PROFESSIONALISM AND DEDICATION OF STAFF AT SOUTH TIPPERARY GENERAL HOSPITAL
DEPUTY MICHAEL LOWRY APPLAUDS THE PROFESSIONALISM AND DEDICATION OF STAFF AT SOUTH TIPPERARY GENERAL HOSPITAL AS REVEALED IN THE REVIEW INTO GOVERNANCE OF MATERNITY SERVICES AT STGH.
The report completed by Mr. David Flory of the UK’s NHS Trust Development Authority on The Review Into Governance Of Maternity Services At STGH only confirms what we already know which is that the staff at the Maternity Unit are professional, committed and caring. The quality of care at the Clonmel unit and the positive statistical outturn is above the national average. However the Report does highlight the necessity of improvements and developments to the service delivered. It is imperative that any element of risk to mothers and babies be eliminated. It is undesirable to have long-term Locum Obstetricians in place. There is a need for permanent appointments and the appointment of a fourth obstetrician consultant. The Report confirms the necessity to upgrade the accommodation and facilities. There is an obvious need to increase staffing numbers.
The Governance model needs to change. Change has to be instigated. Change needs to be led by the HSE and must be funded and implemented. If the gaps identified in the service and the issues raised in the report are not addressed it will lead to an undermining of the service. Strengthening the Management and governance and addressing the issues raised in the report is essential before the upcoming national review on Maternity Services in Ireland is completed. The Management and Staff at the Maternity Unit are doing excellent work and deserve and require our full support and the resources necessary to sustain the Unit into the future.
MICHAEL LOWRY T.D.
The people of Tipperary and the Staff of South Tipperary General Hospital deserve clarity into the governance and future of Maternity services at the Clonmel Hospital.
Deputy Michael Lowry has called for clarity on the external review completed by Mr. David Flory into the governance of Maternity Department services at South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH) Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
Deputy Michael Lowry said; this report is disturbing in the context of the long-term future of maternity services at South Tipperary General Hospital.
Deputy Lowry stated; South Tipperary General Hospital provides a vital service to the People of Tipperary. In 2014 there were 1,102 births registered in the hospital. The people of Tipperary and the Staff of South Tipperary General Hospital deserve clarity into the governance and future of Maternity services at the Hospital.
Deputy Lowry Concluded; I hereby Call on the Minister for Health to clarify the Government’s attitude to this report and give reassurance that there will be no reduction in the level of quality or services which are currently provided by South Tipperary General Hospital.
FEAD program 2014-2020 for the most deprived persons in Europe
What is FEAD?
The Department of Social Protection is the designated managing authority for the Operational Programme (OP) for the Fund for the Economic Aid (FEAD) to the most deprived who will have responsibility for the implementation of the programme in Ireland.
Who will FEAD be targeted at?
FEAD support will help people take their first steps out of poverty and social exclusion. The FEAD will help the most deprived people by addressing one of their most basic needs i.e. food and non-food for personal use e.g. sleeping bags, shampoo and other items for personal use, which is a precondition for them to be able to get a job or follow a training course.
What resources are available?
FEAD Ireland will be funded by some €22m of European funding and €4m of Irish exchequer funding totaling some 26.7m for the period 2014-2020.
Sixty-five per cent (65%) of available resources will be applied to the provision of food and thirty five per cent (35%) to the provision of basic material assistance e.g. sleeping bags, personal need items such as shampoo, shower gel etc.
Accompanying measures funding will also be available to a maximum of 5% of the value of food or non-food items purchased.
How will FEAD work?
The Department will establish an open selection mechanism in a fair, transparent and equitable manner for the provision of funding from the OP to partner organisations to provide food and /or basic material assistance for homeless persons. This will allow the organisations to purchase food and basic material essential non-food items and will then organise the distribution of food/non-food directly to people or transfer the food/non-food products to other not-for-profit organisations working with the target groups.
The criteria will consist of the following elements:
- organisations status, governance structures and legal/recognisable form
- expertise in the provision of food and/or basic material assistance
- capacity to target, deliver services to and support persons who are most severely deprived
- track record in the provision of services to persons who are most deprived
- organisational policies in respect of equality, non-discrimination, care of vulnerable people, accessibility, and inclusion
- ability to record and provide necessary data for monitoring/evaluation
- administrative, operational and management capacity
- financial standing and ability to manage public funds
- integration with other publicly funded programmes (to avoid duplication of support from other publicly funded programmes)
- geographical coverage.
Focus of OP
The focus of the fund will be on those on the margins of society and in need of essential supports. Effectively, the OP will target
- homeless persons including long-term rough sleepers
- children in low income/work intensity households
- victims of domestic violence in refuges and shelters
- person suffering or recovering from addictions
- certain members of the Roma and Traveller communities
- vulnerable persons transitioning to independent living from emergency accommodation, institutionalized care settings or places of detention
- any person without income, accommodation or means not otherwise defined above.
GP Visit Card for children under 6
- Direct Download Link to Application Form: HERE
- Full List Of Signed Up Tipperary GP’s : HERE
- Link To Register for Free Under 6 Scheme: HERE
Children under the age of 6 are entitled to free visits to a participating GP.
In addition to free GP visits, the GP visit card for children under 6 covers specific assessments at age 2 and 5 and care for children with asthma.
These assessments are preventive checks that include charting age, weight and height and taking appropriate follow-up action.
The asthma checks will assess your child’s asthma and review their medications, including ensuring that your child is using inhalers correctly. A written plan will be given to you to help you manage your child’s asthma. The initial check takes place when asthma is diagnosed in a child over 2 years of age, followed by another check in the following 3 months and then annually until the child reaches the age of 6.
How can I get this new service?
Medical Card Holders – If your child or children have a Medical Card or GP Visit Card they will automatically be registered for this new scheme.
Non-Medical Card Holders – If your child or children does not have a Medical Card or GP Visit Card you must register them for this new scheme.
Direct Download Link to Application Form: HERE
Link To Register for Free Under 6 Scheme: HERE
Full List Of Signed Up GP’s Available: HERE
Delighted to have visited Nenagh General Hospital this week to see the new addition and refurbished facilities which are very impressive and a total transformation.
The new Surgical Unit is equipped with state of the art high end technology and has a high quality finish.
All the staff are delighted with the outcome and no doubt future patents of the Hospital will appreciate the high standards and quality of care Nenagh General has to offer.
Member of staff Pictured with Michael Lowry T.D.
L-R Josephine Molloy, Michael Lowry T.D., Mary Noonan, Edel Quinn and Bernie Morrissey
The New Facilities