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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019

'We're not asking for much, just access to a doctor'

The village of Feakle doesn’t have a GP and Kildysart has been relying on locum care for a year.

Image: Shutterstock/ilikestudio

TOWNS IN RURAL Ireland are being left without adequate access to doctors, a group of GPs has warned.

The Clare GP Organising Committee will host their second No Doctor, No Village meeting tonight in Corofin after a meeting last month was told that GPs would be restored to rural villages in the county.

However, campaigners say that no concrete timeline has been announced and they want to put pressure on politicians to deliver.

Currently, the village of Feakle doesn’t have a GP and Kildysart has been relying on locum care for a year.

Dr Liam Glynn who is chairing the event told that the issue goes beyond rural doctors.

While the emphasis of the evening may be about the crisis in rural general practice, this is also about a national emergency in general practice resourcing and manpower.

“There are wider issues in GP services and primary care.

“It’s about isolated, elderly people living here. There was a parish priest at the last meeting who said he was representing the voiceless.

“They’ve lost their public transport, lost their post office, now they’re afraid they’ll lose access to a doctor.

“We’re not asking for swimming pools or anything, we’re asking for basic human rights – access to a doctor.

We’re not particularly hopeful. We’ve heard rhetoric, but seen very little action. They’ve had time to deliver and now should explain why they haven’t delivered.

Last month, the three ministers at the Department of Health – Leo Varadkar, Kathleen Lynch and Aodhan Ó Riordáin – said that “2016 will see significant progress on a new GP contract and funding has been set aside in the HSE National Service Plan for developments in rural practice”.

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