Deputy Denis Naughten and Cllr. Evelyn Parsons have received confirmation that the €426,000 approved for the expansion of the WestDoc service in the Ballinasloe & South East Galway area will be immediately made available to this service.
Late last year there was a growing concern that out of hours GP services could be suspended however this was averted after Minister Anne Rabbitte confirmed that WestDoc was to be provided with an additional €426,000 in funding.
This was transferred to local management before Christmas and is ringfenced to provide for out of hours GP services at the Dunlo Medical Centre and Marina House Medical in Ballinasloe as well as services in Lawrencetown, Kiltormer, Eyrecourt and Kilconnell.
“The confirmation that this funding has now been received and can immediately be made available to support local GP services is very timely considering the current crisis within our health service and in Portiuncula Hospital in particular,” said Denis Naughten TD.
Cllr Evelyn Parsons added: “This funding will ensure that the patients in these practices will be able to access the WestDoc out of hours GP service at last, a service which is available throughout a large part of County Galway.”
Deputy Sean Canney, who also worked with the local GPs, hopes this funding will make it more attractive for GPs to fill vacant posts in the area.
This funding was secured following a cross-party deputation to the Minister for Health led by Minister Rabbitte along with Deputies Naughten and Canney and Cllr Parsons, to ensure that patients in Ballinasloe and southeast Galway have the same access to GP services as those in other areas of the West of Ireland.
“It is significant that as GP out of hours services are being threatened in the midlands and in Cork, we are seeing an expansion of GP cover in our area. It is expected that the new GP out of hours service supported by WestDoc will be operational before the end of January” concluded Denis Naughten TD.