Daly Calls For Action As Ballyduff To Be Without Sitting GP Over Christmas

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Deputy Pa Daly.

KERRY Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly is calling for solutions to declining GP numbers in rural practices, in light of the news that Ballyduff GP Practice will close over the Christmas period.

Deputy Daly received news that Ballyduff GP Practice will not have a sitting GP from the start of this week until January 4, 2022.

“Ballyduff GP practice has been served by a locum since September 2021,” said Deputy Daly. “The HSE confirmed this week that it was unable to secure another locum to provide cover from December 13th to January 3rd.   The HSE has assured that a locum will take up practice starting January 4th, 2022.”

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“During the period of December 13th to January 3rd, Dr Ursula Scullion will provide emergency GP care via Clanmaurice Medical Practice at Abbeydorney.  Arrangements for repeat prescriptions have been made with local pharmacies and people requiring repeat social welfare certificates can contact the office staff at Ballyduff GP Practice,” he said.

“All around the State there are difficulties in rural towns and villages in accessing GP services and healthcare.  This impacts the most vulnerable in those communities by making it harder for them to avail of healthcare.

“From my time in Comhchoiste na Gaeilge, na Gaeltachta agus Phobal Labhartha na Gaeilge, I know that in certain situations the HSE directly employs GPs in Gaeltacht and rural areas, where no GP is willing or able to take up practice themselves.

“Alternatives such as this must be considered to ensure that GP care can be provided for rural communities and that they have the benefit of a GP who knows their medical needs and histories.  Moving from locum to locum is not a viable long-term solution.

“The HSE must come up with a better system than the current one as it is clearly not working,” he concluded.

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