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Community healthcare under pressure and under resourced in Dublin

6 June, 2006


Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has voiced her concern at the provision of community healthcare across Dublin. She said that community healthcare is under pressure and under resourced in Dublin. Ms. McDonald said that figures released from the HSE show that the number of public health nurses in Dublin has fallen from 693 in 2001 to 686 in 2005, despite a substantial increase in the population. There are also wide disparities in the provision of GP services across the city. There are only nine GPs in the Dublin 1 area but the average across Dublin is over twice that at 21. Ms. McDonald said the government is failing to deliver across the board from community care to hospital services.

Ms. McDonald said:

"Figures released from the HSE show that the number of public health nurses have fallen from 693 in 2001 to 686 in 2005, despite a substantial increase in the population. Public health nurses play a vital role particularly in relation to the elderly, children and in terms of post natal care. I know from my own experience as a mother of two young children the invaluable role played by the public health nurse. But this is just one area of public health where the government is failing to deliver.

"There are also wide disparities in the provision of GP services across the city. There are only nine GPs in the Dublin 1 area but the average across Dublin is over twice that at 21. It is obvious that the quality and availability of primary care has a huge impact on the health system as a whole.

"The government needs to wake up and address the problems in community health delivery. It is a disgrace that where you live can have such a major impact on your access to healthcare.

"Equality in the health service is a fundamental right for everyone. Sinn Féin believes that where possible people should be treated in a community setting. This means a major redesign of primary care across Ireland. It means looking at care from a patient's point of view. We are calling for a network of modern and accessible Primary Care Treatment Centres capable of delivering a wide range of services in the community." ENDS

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