Swad needs full time GP service, Dáil told

The need for a permanent GP in Swanlinbar has been flagged in the Dáil by a local TD.

Since the retirement of the previous GPs, the West Cavan practice has had a locum providing a service four days a week.

A public meeting concerning Swanlinbar's Health Centre will be held in St Mary's Hall this Sunday at 4pm.

Speaking in Dáil Éireann earlier this week during Questions on Policy or Legislation with the Minister for Finance, Deputy Brendan Smith said the locum GP should have a five-day per week contract.

"From speaking to local residents and from the people in the wider Swanlinbar catchment area I know they are adamant and very anxious to have a five-day GP service.

"Their strong message, which I fully support, is for a locum five-day GP service pending the appointment of a permanent GP. That GP appointment also needs to be a five-day service in Swanlinbar.''

Deputy Brendan Smith went on to say that for many decades GPs and their support staff in Ballyconnell, Blacklion and Swanlinbar have worked extremely hard to provide a good health service to that large and very rural Border region with its own particular challenges.

In response, Minister McGrath said the Department of Health and the HSE are very anxious to make progress and ensure access to a GP service is made available to the local community.

He said: "The Minister for Health, Deputy Donnelly, is aware of the specific issue the Deputy has raised. As the Deputy is aware more broadly a strategic review of general practice is under way at the moment, which is looking at issues affecting general practice. The Minister for Health is expecting a report on that issue.

"In the budget of 2023 we provided €30 million for additional capacity-related supports for GPs in the context of the expansion of services and eligibility for GP visit cards. The Minister will come back to the Deputy on the specific issue and the location that he has identified. We are, thankfully, seeing significant progress now on the number of those seeking to train in Ireland and practise in Ireland as a GP.''