Clare TD, Joe Carey has slammed the HSE over an “outdated and cumbersome” system for appointing GPs which has resulted in Newmarket-on-Fergus being left without a family doctor.
As reported by The Clare Echo this week, a provisional agreement between a new GP and the HSE had broken down. The new GP was due to start on Monday succeeding Dr. Colm Hackett who retired in May. Since then, an interim arrangement has been in place with Dr. Yvonne Williams of the Shannon Medical Centre treating Hackett’s GMS patients until the post was filled on a full-time basis.
A recruitment process to fill the vacancy is now ongoing, a spokesperson for Mid-West Community Health Care informed The Clare Echo. However, Fine Gael’s Joe Carey has criticised how the HSE have handled the matter. “The outdated system of appointing GPs is far too cumbersome and takes months on end. The HSE had been aware for some time that Dr Hackett would be retiring on May 22 last, but the panel wasn’t advertised until last March and the appointment confirmed in June”.
He described the HSE’s communication on the issue as “a shambles”. “It was widely known that Dr Hackett was retiring and plans to replace him should have been well advanced by prior to his departure. There is huge concern and anger in Newmarket On Fergus over this issue. Despite her best efforts, it’s extremely difficult to secure same day appointments with Dr Williams and it’s an added burden for Newmarket-on-Fergus people to travel to Shannon.
“It’s very important that the HSE would publicly communicate their plans to recruit a new GP for Newmarket and that every effort would be made by them to fast track an appointment,” Deputy Carey concluded.