‘Without proper services, primary care centre will be just a glorified GP surgery’

by Sylvia Pownall

THERE are growing fears that the new primary care health centre due to open in Balbriggan will be nothing but a “glorified GP surgery”.
Figures released to Sinn Fein TD Louise O’Reilly by the HSE reveal no additional staff will be allocated to allow the centre to provide a full range of services.
Deputy O’Reilly said: “We have a beautiful new primary care centre being built but when we asked how many people are going to be working in it, how many additional staff are going to be supplied, the figure was zero, and that is not acceptable.
“The figures we’re looking at show that the HSE haven’t designated any additional staff, so they’re going to become nothing more than glorified GP surgeries.
“While we absolutely value the work of GPs in the community, we need auxiliary services to support a fully functional primary care team.”
Party colleague Cllr Malachy Quinn agreed and stressed the need for amenities and services in what the latest Census 2016 results revealed to be Ireland’s youngest town.
“We demand an appropriate health service in the youngest town in the State,” he said. “As it stands there will be no additional staff, no scanner facilities, no investment in child and adolescent mental health supports – only a nice, shiny new building with the same waiting lists for health services.”
The latest census figures show Balbriggan has the youngest population in the country, with an average age of 30.8 years.
Fingal is also the youngest administrative county with its 34.3 average well behind the national average of 37.4 years.
Fingal has also seen the largest rise in its primary school population, up 19 per cent (6,273) to 39,349.
Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee (FF) said: “We need to see more schools being built, better transport links, and we need to ensure that there are enough childcare places for the increased number of children who will undoubtedly be born over the next 10 years from such a young population.
“Census 2016 has given us the evidence we need to plan for the future.”

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