Concerns raised over GP services in Crossmaglen

Posted by
info@newrytimes.com
Friday, July 10th, 2015
Community, Politics
Sinn Féin representatives have been meeting with health officials to discuss concerns around GP services in Crossmaglen.
MLAs Conor Murphy and Megan Fearon along with Counillor Mickey Larkin meeting Health Board members Dr. Mary Donnelly, Medical Advisor, Dr. Arnie McDowell, Chair of the local medical committee and John McGrath, Health Board Business Support Manager.

MLAs Conor Murphy and Megan Fearon along with Counillor Mickey Larkin meeting Health Board members Dr. Mary Donnelly, Medical Advisor, Dr. Arnie McDowell, Chair of the local medical committee and John McGrath, Health Board Business Support Manager

Two of the local GPs are set to resign by the end of August. On Tuesday MLAs Conor Murphy and Megan Fearon and MP Mickey Brady met with representatives from the Trust to discuss the issue while on Friday the MLAs were joined by Councillor Mickey Larkin for a meeting with the Health Board. Megan Fearon said the meetings had been constructive and that they would continue to push for a resolution to the issue with all concerned bodies. “This issue is causing great concern in the Crossmaglen area, particularly as a significant number of people live up to an hour or more away from any ambulance service,” she said. “While there is no doubt that this is a very serious matter, we have received assurances from both the Trust and the Health Board that they are doing all they can to ensure that the area is not left without cover. “On Friday the Health Board explained to us that what is happening in the area is the result of a general shortage of doctors across the north, however, they have assured us that there are a number of options available to them, which they will examine very closely,” Fearon explained. “We pushed them on the subject of cover for the area and made clear that leaving the region, for any length of time, without primary or emergency care was simply not an option. “They brought to us a number of issues to raise in the Assembly, which they said will help with the general issue of doctor shortages in the north and we will of course be working on them as a matter of urgency. In particular we are seeking a meeting with the Health Minister as soon as possible. “In the short term, and in particular in relation to Crossmaglen, we are urging to Health Board, in the strongest possible terms, to take action on the issue of recruitment immediately. Fearon added, “In the meantime we will continue to monitor the issue; I am treating this matter as a priority and will use all influence and options open to me to help find a resolution.”

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