A public meeting to discuss “the future of healthcare in Blarney” is set to take place tomorrow.
The meeting, organised by Sinn Féin members in Cork, comes as a local GP service, Ashdale Centre, is to lose its only doctor at the end of December.
“I hope that everyone will join myself, Cllr Mick Nugent and Cllr Kenneth Collins to discuss the future of healthcare in Blarney,” Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Thomas Gould said, speaking ahead of the meeting which takes place at 11am tomorrow in Blarney Community Hall.
“It will mean that the remaining service becomes even more overburdened while some people may now be forced to travel outside Blarney for basic medical healthcare.
“We are asking everyone to join us this Saturday to discuss how we, as a community in Blarney, can fight against this closure and put pressure on the HSE to recruit a GP immediately,” Mr Gould continued.
In correspondence seen bylast week, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (CKCH) said that regarding Ashdale Centre, it is currently undertaking the appropriate steps in terms of “both contracting a permanent replacement and ensuring continuity of service in the interim for this GMS [General Medical Services] panel”.
“Thereafter, as soon as a GP is contracted, further communication will issue to advise of the permanent arrangements,” CKCH stated.
Speaking last week, Mr Gould said that he has written to the HSE requesting a firm commitment that an interim doctor will be in place for the entire length of the recruitment process for a new doctor, “regardless of the length of time” it takes.
Mr Gould said he has also been in contact with the existing GP at the centre who he said has done “trojan work in the community”.
Meanwhile, Independent councillor Ken O’Flynn said he has today written to both the Minister of Health and the HSE regarding the situation at Ashdale Centre.
Mr O’Flynn said he has been contacted by neighbours of his in Blarney and Towner who are concerned that they might be “left stranded” when the current doctor leaves the practice.