Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has welcomed the publication of the ESRI’s Geographic Profile of Healthcare Needs. The report, which is very detailed, reveals a clear need for targeted investment in Primary Care Services, as well as in long term residential care beds.
Commenting on the findings of the ESRI study Teachta Adams said;
“This important study – GEOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF HEALTHCARE NEEDS AND NON-ACUTE HEALTHCARE SUPPLY IN IRELAND – examined the geographic spread of health services across the state. The report’s findings support what we already know to be the case in Louth – that this government must urgently invest in Primary Care and social care services.
The ESRI reveals that County Louth has less Speech and Language services and Long term residential care beds than the state average. It also notes a historical failure to invest in health information and data systems.
A new Primary Care Centre for Dundalk was first announced in 2008 when the HSE advertised for expressions of interest to develop a centre. Fast forward a decade and not one brick has been laid, in fact planning permission hasn’t even been submitted.
A Primary Care Centre which accommodates GP, nursing, physio, OT, disability, respite and other services is essential for the long term care of citizens in this county.
This is essential in light of the report’s conclusion that over the next two decades much of the expected population growth will occur in cities and surrounding areas like Louth and Meath. The report states: This means that medium- and long-term resource allocation and capacity planning policies such as the National Planning Framework – ‘Project Ireland 2040’ (Government of Ireland, 2018) – should take account of the implications of projected demographic change for service demand in the regions currently with lower relative supply and where population increases are projected to be greatest”.
Thus far the failure by the government to provide the long awaited Primary Care Centre for Dundalk and North Louth is evidence that it is not planning properly for the future. This inability to plan for the future is storing up significant difficulties in the time ahead”.