‘We need more GP’s and district nurses’ – McNulty

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Friday, March 20th, 2015
The SDLP’s Westminster Representative for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty has warned of further crises in the health service across Northern Ireland unless urgent action is taken to provide more GP’s and District Nurses in local communities.

The SDLP’s Justin McNulty and Fearghal McKinney MLA with Dr Frances O’Hagan and Dr Arnold McDowell

McNulty made the warning after meeting with local GP representatives Dr Frances O’Hagan and Dr Arnold McDowell this week along with SDLP Health Spokesperson Fearghal McKinney MLA. McNulty said, “GP’s are often the first point of call in our health system and I fear that failure to adequately plan for the future will see a major crises develop in local GP surgeries very soon. “We hear time and time again about people having serious problems getting GP appointments and I fear this is only going to get worse. “We are training too many hospital consultants in comparison to GP’s, and with the average age of GP’s ever increasing serious action needs to be taken to plan for the future. “Across Northern Ireland there are only 65 new GP training places available each year, these needs to be at least doubled if we are to meet the needs of our population. Of those 65, not all finish, some only work part-time when qualified and others leave to work in the UK or Australia. He added, “We need to see radical intervention by the Minister. He needs to listen to those on the frontline. We need more GP’s trained; we need more District Nurses working with GP’s in the community. “I firmly believe if we are to get a grip on the constant crises in the health service we need to start by resourcing the frontline, this can only have a positive impact on the entire system especially area such as A&E.”
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