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Cross-border GP service welcome but much more needed – Ó Caoláin

26 November, 2007

Sinn Féin Health and Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has welcomed the commencement from today (Monday 26 November) of the new cross-border General Practitioner Out-of-Hours Service. The service will enable people living in South Armagh who require a GP outside normal practice hours to attend a GP in the NEDOC Out-of-Hours centre in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said the commencement of the service was welcome but there was much more potential for cross-border co-operation in health services:

"The commencement of the cross-border out-of-hours GP service linking South Armagh and Castleblayney, Co, Monaghan is a very welcome development. It follows similar arrangements between Inishowen, Co. Donegal and Derry City.

"These are pilot projects which serve to demonstrate the massive potential benefit of healthcare co-operation for people living right along the border. The pity is that it has taken so long to get these projects up and running. We need to see far more such co-operation and indeed integration of our health services on an island-wide basis. This is a key area of shared development and both the Irish Government and the Executive in the Six Counties must prioritise healthcare co-operation to ensure that the new political dispensation makes a real practical difference in people's lives." CRIOCH

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