Cork TDs have welcomed the news that the HSE is engaging with SouthDoc on the restoration of out-of-hours GP services in Blackpool.
Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (CKCH), Michael Fitzgerald, informed members of the Oireachtas that the HSE has been advised that the Board of Directors of SouthDoc “will meet shortly” to plan the reopening of Blackpool and Listowel centres for scheduled appointments.
The email, seen by The Echo, also stated that the HSE was advised that SouthDoc “will revert after the Board meeting with an update, including the agreed reopening date”.
“The HSE is now engaging with SouthDoc on the need to develop a pathway to fully restore service in Blackpool and Listowel once public health conditions allow it to do so,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, said: “We are now almost a full year into the closure of SouthDoc Blackpool. The people of the northside have gone long enough without an out-of-hours GP service.”
Deputy Gould said that he is “optimistic” about the most recent update but that “we need to be careful as SouthDoc have previously given a firm commitment to the HSE to reopen on January 18”.
Following initial confirmation of SouthDoc’s reopening of services on the northside of the city in correspondence received by Deputy Gould on January 12, the HSE was subsequently informed on January 15 that SouthDoc had changed its position and decided not to resume service.
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central Pádraig O’Sullivan said that the most recent confirmation the HSE is engaging with SouthDoc on the matter “is very much welcomed”.
“Although by no means a green light for the resumption of services, I do welcome this progress,” he said.