The two GP’s in the town, who are already operating to capacity have had just one meeting with the HSE on this matter since the announcement of the arrival of the refugees was made. The IMO were also involved and as of this week no proper needs assessment of what the medical needs of the refugees might be has been forthcoming. The HSE say that they are organising a temorary mobile GP service to cater for the new arrivals,but this seems to me to be a last minute solution which does not properly address the needs of the people who are coming to Ballaghaderreen. Furthermore we do not know what form this service might take and how long it might last.
No mention has been made about what the mental health needs of this group might be or whether they might need a child psychologist or other services in that regard and there is a lack of forward planning by the Department and the HSE in this regard. I am contacting the Ministers with responsibility, Fitzgerald and Stanton, and the HSE this week for answers in this regard. The local community deserve to know what’s going on and this group of refugess, who are very welcome in the town, deserve to be treated properly. It stands to reason that some people will miss out if the system is overloaded.
GP’s are not plentiful around the country. In fact GP’s are scarce, and while any doctor will do as much as they can to help people, there are only so many hours in the day. Bad planning leads to problems in the long term and we need to hear from the Department and the HSE on what their plans are to look after the medical needs of these people while not affecting the servce to the community as it stands.