Cork TD seeks PAC investigation into SouthDoc closure

Cork TD seeks PAC investigation into SouthDoc closure

SouthDoc is yet to reopen its out-of-hours medical service in facilities in both Blackpool and Listowel. Picture: Eddie O'Hare.

Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould has written to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) requesting that it investigate the continuing closure of the SouthDoc Blackpool.

SouthDoc is yet to reopen its out-of-hours medical service in facilities in both Blackpool and Listowel.

In his letter to the Committee Mr Gould cites information he secured under Freedom of Information (FOI) indicating that the HSE had been instructing SouthDoc to reopen the facility since September of last year.

The correspondence between Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (CKCH) and the Director of SouthDoc confirmed SouthDoc’s proposal to keep the Blackpool out-of-hours GP service shut.

An updated restoration of services plan had been sought by CKCH since September 18, with SouthDoc confirming on October 1 that it was “not planning on reopening either Listowel or Blackpool treatment centres”.

Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould has written to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) requesting that it investigate the continuing closure of the SouthDoc Blackpool. Picture: Mike English.
Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould has written to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) requesting that it investigate the continuing closure of the SouthDoc Blackpool. Picture: Mike English.

In January of this year, Deputy Gould received correspondence from the HSE and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly confirming that the Blackpool centre would reopen on January 18.

However, in a statement issued by SouthDoc on January 15, it was confirmed that SouthDoc would “continue to deliver the service in a consolidated format until the current wave has abated”.

Deputy Gould said that after raising the issue in the Dáil and sending numerous letters to both Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister Michael McGrath, that “the only course of action is for the PAC to investigate”.

This service is costing the state millions of euro. It is no longer operating properly and the HSE have warned of the dire consequences of the continued closure.

“The Service Level Agreement clearly states that a written timeline for resumption of services must be given at the end of the financial year. It is now February and as far as I am aware, no written timeline has been provided to date.

“At this stage, I think the only course of action is for the PAC to investigate the contract. This continued closure is really affecting people,” he said.

SouthDoc has been contacted for comment. 

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