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New building but no new primary care staff in Balbriggan – Louise O’Reilly TD

31 January, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Responding to the confirmation from the HSE that the new Primary Care Centre in Balbriggan will not have any new additional staff employed when it opens, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson and TD for Dublin Fingal Louise O’Reilly has criticised the Government for leading the people of Balbriggan on and ‘selling them a pup’.

Deputy O’Reilly said:

“The HSE have today confirmed through Parliamentary Question that there are to be no new staff allocated to the Primary Care Centre in Balbriggan. I have been advised that the centre will ‘be wholly operated by existing Primary Care staff’ once the new centre becomes operational.

“The HSE's response clearly articulates that there are to be no new staff allocated to the Primary Care Centre in Balbriggan- no additional nurses, therapists or physiotherapists. Indeed, this new centre will not even require any additional support staff- porters, administration or service staff- as these too will simply be relocated.

“It is clear that the Government and its representatives- particularly Senator James Reilly, former Health Minister- have led the people of Balbriggan on and sold them a pup on the potential of this centre for further local employment.

“The population in Balbriggan is among the youngest and fastest growing in Dublin and the health services are struggling as we speak.  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. Indeed, despite the growing population and demand for services, Dublin North has not received any new primary care development posts since 2013.

“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.

“The Government spun a yarn to the people of Balbriggan on this primary care centre and when it opens later this year, without additional staff, their abhorrent let down of Dublin Fingal will be realised- to the detriment of the health of the local community.”

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