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A rural health centre in Tipperary has been operating without a GP since last week

Despite not having a resident doctor, Bansha Medical Centre has continued to open its doors.

Image: Shutterstock/mertcan

A RURAL MEDICAL centre has been operating without a GP for almost a week. 

The facility in Bansha, Tipperary last had a GP in place on 22 January.

Despite the lack of a doctor, the practice has continued to open its doors, with a GP coming in from a practice in Tipperary town to help with acute cases.

Anyone else with less severe conditions is being made to wait until after 6pm for Caredoc – the out-of-hours service – to come on duty.

It is understood that interviews were held on Monday and Tuesday of this week, but it is still unclear whether or not the position has been filled.

A locum GP is expected to take up position in the health centre from Monday next week.

In a comment about the absence of a GP at the practice, independent TD Mattie McGrath said: “In the face of this sorry saga, the patience and resilience of both the existing medical centre staff and the community are to be even more than usually admired.”

the entrance to bansha health centre The entrance to Bansha Health Centre Source: Google Maps

An announcement is expected later today over whether or not a new doctor has been appointed to the practice.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a person connected with the health centre said that the situation was “tentative” at the moment and that staff at the hospital should be “encouraged and nurtured rather than discouraged”.

In recent years, the HSE has struggled to fill positions around the country in rural practices.

In an attempt to combat this, the rural practice allowance was reintroduced for some positions – including this new opening in Bansha.

The allowance is a payment to GPs with medical card patients who practice in a village with a population of below 500 and who are outside the three-mile radius of a town with a population of more than 1,500. A reduced version of the payment can be made in differing circumstances.

In response, the HSE has said: “The recruitment process is still ongoing, so we are not in a position to comment.”

Read: These are the 10 most important constituencies in the general election

Also: McGrath vs. McGrath: These lads had a lively (and hilarious) row in our office

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