Health and Care Centre Provision - A new generation of Health and Care Centres?
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the beginning of consultation in to the provision of the next generation of health centres.
Mr McCartney said:
"Health provisions in terms of health centres are changing with the next generation of centres providing much more than doctor surgeries and prescription renewal. These new centres will provide many of the services that the outpatients' clinics at major hospitals now carry out such as x-ray and minor surgery.
"The first of these centres in the Waterside is already under construction and I welcome the beginning of the consultation process for the one that will service the greater Shantallow area. It goes without saying that I hope and believe that these discussions will result in much needed modern health and care facilities servicing all areas of the city into the future.
"I am aware that discussions have already taken place with a number of locally based organisations in recent months designed to bring forward a clear proposal for a new Health and Care Centre servicing the needs and creating much needed and important health provision in high population areas such as Galliagh and Shantallow that have, historically, been neglected over many years.
"This area has seen substantial population growth in recent years and is continuing to expand. The catchment area for this part of the City side is presently around 34,000 and it is estimated that with the proposed housing developments on the Buncrana Road and the development of the new Skeoge link road, the population will grow to an estimated 50,000 plus by 2017. This will in itself require a major plan in terms of providing the necessary infrastructure and will require the input of all the agencies working together, to ensure that the proper amenities are located in the right areas in order to maximise the strategic benefit of those facilities.
"On the specific issue of the Health and Care Centre provision and its eventual location, I recognise that there will be a need for a proper consultation with the necessary stakeholders and the local residents. I am aware that the WHSSB, FHSST and the PCCI are currently considering a number of potential sites in the Greater Shantallow area and there will be ongoing discussions about the eventual location. I believe that the Health and care Centre needs to be sited in the heart of the community where it can best provide for the health needs of local residents, particularly the elderly and those affected by ill health." ENDS