Primary Care Centres ‘will have no additional beds and no additional staff’ – O’Reilly
Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson and TD for Dublin Fingal Louise O’Reilly has said that figures from the Primary Care Division Operational Plan 2016 showing that no additional beds, no replacement beds and no additional staff will be in place in new projects and primary care centres is disappointing and reflects poorly on the Governments primary care plan.
Deputy O’Reilly said:
“Sinn Féin has never been cheerleaders for the Government's plan to roll-out 80 primary care centres. In fact we were hugely critical of this announcement in the absence of recruitment, funding or initiatives to ensure that these centres are not just empty shells. Indeed, figures from the Primary Care Division Operational Plan 2016 show that there are no additional beds, no replacement beds and no additional staff to be in place in new projects and primary care centres. This is hugely disappointing and reflects poorly on the Governments primary care plan.
“Only recently, the HSE confirmed to me that there are to be no new staff allocated to the Primary Care Centre in Balbriggan. It turns out that staff will be relocated from other areas and no new staff will be hired. We see from the CSO figures that Fingal is the fastest growing county and the fact that no new staff will be employed by the HSE in this centre undermines the premise of primary care and the importance of these services to the community.
“While it is important to have primary care centres, it is important to be cognisant that in the absence of recruitment, funding or initiatives these centres could be under-utilised. A primary care centre, like small hospitals, is no good to the communities they serve unless the necessary services are contained therein with the appropriate staff.
“The provision of primary care centres, without the provision of the necessary services within it does not equate to primary care provision. That is why Sinn Féin is campaigning for the provision of vital services and vital healthcare staff in primary care centres to ensure that there is equal access to care and to ensure that pressures are taken off our acute hospital services.”