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HSE North East has lost confidence of GPs – Ó Caoláin

1 April, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has described the Open Letter from two general practitioners who have resigned as GP Unit doctors as "a further blow to the credibility of the HSE in the North East region".

In their Open Letter (see copy below) Dr. Seamus Clarke of Clones, Co. Monaghan and Dr. Paddy Halligan of Bailieborough, Co. Cavan, state that they have resigned as GP Unit doctors, citing the attitude of the HSE as the reason for their departure.

Deputy Ó Caoláin:

"The Open Letter to HSE Chief Executive Brendan Drumm from two prominent GPs in Counties Cavan and Monaghan is a further blow to the credibility of the HSE in the North East region.

"The doctors describe the dismissive attitude of HSE management to the concerns of GPs in the region and the exclusion of GPs from consideration of how health services should be delivered.

"Crucially, the GPs highlight the ‘spinning’ by the HSE of information regarding service delivery in the region. This is especially the case regarding the reconfiguration of hospital services, including the removal of acute medical services from Monaghan General Hospital to Cavan General Hospital without the provision of a single additional in-patient bed at Cavan.

"These two doctors were among the 41 GPs from Cos. Cavan and Monaghan who last February, for reasons of patient safety, called on the HSE not to go ahead with the planned closure of 56 acute medical beds in Monaghan General Hospital.

"HSE management in the North East region have become unaccountable enforcers for fundamentally flawed Government policy. That policy and the HSE in its present form are barriers to better public health and should be set aside." ENDS


Open Letter   Prof. Brendan Drumm,CEO HSE, Dr. Steven’s Hospital Dublin 8 31st March 2009. Dear Prof. Drumm We write to you having recently resigned as GP Unit Doctors from the GP Unit, HSE Dublin NE. We have been with the Unit for almost 10 years. Our decision to resign resulted from several factors which has been prevalent in recent times within the organisation which you run namely: 1. The recent complete waste of our time attending service planning meetings at which a token GP representative was required but at which the needs and views of General Practice were completely ignored by the HSE. We refuse to be a token GP presence on committees whose outcome has been predetermined from the outset. 2. The hierarchical nature of the organisation in which any view on service issues other than that of the official HSE was ignored and undermined. 3. The dismissiveness by some senior HSE managers of the General Practitioner role, and our professional views on the planning of services. This makes a mockery of GP involvement in the Primary Care Strategy such as it is. 4. The sole use of Hospital Clinicians in determining local services, and how they are to be delivered to our area. This is without reference to the local General Practitioners and our patient’s requirements. It seems only Hospital Clinicians know what services our patients need. 5. The cynical way in which information regarding service delivery changes has been "spun" by the HSE to the media to disguise that lack of consultation with the General Practitioners in our area and any cognisance of our professional views. No form of constructive contribution with your organisation to the improvement of local health is achievable by our continuing to hold these posts. Yours sincerely Dr. Seamus Clarke,                             Dr. Paddy Halligan 4 Annalore Street,                              The Cottage Surgery, Clones,                                                 Bailieborough, Co. Monaghan.                                   Co. Cavan.

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