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Joined Up Thinking Needed If Health Centres Close

Proper planning needs to be put in place if it is true that that a number of smaller health centres in Ballaghaderreen, Strokestown and Elphin are to close due to the opening of the new Primary Care Centre in Boyle.

The HSE have said that they are going to carry out a review of the operation of these smaller health centres with the imminent opening of the new Primary Care Centre in Boyle at the end of this year. If these centres do close I am calling for some joined up thinking between the different agencies to ensure that everyone will be able to access the new services. There are many elderly people who may not have transport and who live a long way from Boyle and I am proposing that the HSE liase with local transport services to ensure that patients are able to attend the new Primary Care Centre at a suitable time.

The local transport links should be provided for those who may be affected as a result of the local health centre in their area closing down. The HSE need to sit down with the local transport operators to ensure that people are facilitated and can avail of the enhanced facilities in Boyle. I welcome the news that the quality of the services provided at the new Primary Care Centes will be much improved but we need joined up thinking and there is no point having new centralised facilities if people cannot access them. There is a number of months to get this right and I am calling on the HSE to meet with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that every one who needs healthcare will be looked after into the future.