SINN FÉIN has said more capacity is needed within the out-of-hours GP service in Cork to cope with continued overcrowding at emergency departments.
Speaking in Cork this week following a number of meetings with Cork University Hospital (CUH) management and with city paramedics, Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson David Cullinane said SouthDoc services need to be improved.
“Out-of-hours GP service is really important and we want to deliver universal GP access which is going to take a lot of work and you have to engage with the IMO and you have to engage with the GPs themselves because they have to make it work.
“Thomas Gould and others in Cork have obviously identified a problem in Cork that needs to be resolved. If I was in Stephen Donnelly shoes I’d be meeting with the GP representative groups and meeting GPs in Cork to say we need an out-of-hours service, we need a SouthDoc that works for patients and one of the things I’ve been saying over the last while is that the healthcare system doesn’t work for everybody.
Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould, who had been lobbying for the reopening of the SouthDoc Blackpool facility throughout the pandemic, said now that the service has returned to the northside of the city, it should remain there.
Speaking to, he said: “Government TDs and councillors have said SouthDoc should be centralised in a city centre location. I’m against that and so are the HSE because they believe the more health facilities you have in the community, the better chance of delivering better healthcare to residents.
“What I think should happen is the two locations in the city should keep going with extra resources, extra doctors, extra nurses, brought into them.
He said that centralising the service would lead to more overcrowding and waiting lists and that the best way to provide healthcare “is to provide more of it locally because you’re making it easier for people to attend, making it more accessible”.
“I was on a call last week with David Cullinane when he outlined his budget and there were representatives from GPs to say that there are serious shortages of GPs nationally but in particular Cork and work needs to be done there.
“That’s why SouthDoc is so important. There are people who can’t get GPs because most of the GPs are at capacity so having the ability to attend a SouthDoc is really important for people,” he said.