Munster welcomes refurbishment of Ballsgrove Primary Care Centre for wider community

Sinn Féin TD for Louth/East Meath Imelda Munster has welcomed the completion of the refurbishment works in Ballsgrove Primary Care Centre.

Deputy Munster said:

“The centre has been completely ungraded following fire damage in December 2016 to a fully modern state of the art Primary Care Centre to meet the needs of the local community.”

“It is understood that the refurbished Primary Care Centre will be staffed by two Primary Care Teams comprising of Public Health Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Psychologists, and other supporting healthcare professionals. The Public Health Nursing service based in the Primary Care Centre is expected to continue to provide a wide range of services to the centre’s users including a very valuable Tissue Viability Service.”

“It is my understanding that the HSE intend to have Ballsgrove Primary Care Centre the main hub for the delivery of its Immunisation Programme for South Louth with Senior Area Medical Officers based on site.”

“The restoration of this facility to the local community is very welcome and I wish all involved continued success.”

Residents Urged to Have Their Say over Drogheda Port

Louth TD and Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Toursim and Sport Imelda Munster TD has quizzed Dr Joseph Hiney, Chair Designate of Drogheda Port Company on issues surrounding the companies future.

Deputy Munster said “With the formal share transfer of Drogheda Port from the Department of Transport to Louth County Council, we now have a new opportunity to address the many issues the residents of Drogheda have around the port. Myself and the Drogheda Team of Sinn Féin Councillors are contacted on a regular basis regarding issues with the port. I put those concerns, the concerns raised by the public, to Dr Hiney and asked him for a commitment on resolving them. The response was everything could and would be considered under the public consultation process. I would urge any and all residents of Drogheda and South Louth to have their say during that process.

We all know how detrimental to Drogheda it is to have two separate parking regimes in the town centre. We know how unkempt the North Strand/North Quay area has become. With the transfer to Louth County Council we have an opportunity we did not have previously to resolve those issues. But we also need local over-sight and cooperation to ensure local concerns are addressed and I asked that a formal protocol be put in place to ensure cooperation between the local councillors and the port. Be it through a place on their board or a new forum. If that cooperation was realised then we could see some of the council motions regarding the port and Boyne estuary over the years finally resolved. For example Cllr Kenneth Flood had a motion passed that called for a bird watch hide on the Boyne Estuary. I asked the port chairman to realise the eco-tourism potential of The Boyne and consider, in conjunction with  Louth County Council, a bird watch hide where tourists could view the protected species in the Boyne Estuary.

I look forward now to the public consultation process and hopefully we will see Drogheda Port prosper and pay a dividend to Louth County Council as it’s shareholder.

Imelda Munster Outraged at Exorbitant Charge on Patients with Haemochromatosis

Imelda Munster TD is outraged at recent HSE correspondence to haemochromatosis patients who attend the venesection clinic in Louth advising that from 1st September 2017 a charge of €80 per visit would begin with a maximum charge of €800 annually.

The Sinn Féin TD said: “Whilst medical card holders are exempt from this levy, it puts an unfair burden on people who have been diagnosed with this condition. The financial means of these patients are not taken into account, though they may be just over the limit required for access to a medical card”.

Imelda Munster explained that “Haemochromatosis is a life-long chronic illness and patients need regular venesections (the taking of blood) to keep their iron levels in check and to remain healthy.

“This charge of up to €800 a year could well prevent people from attending the venesection clinic which in turn will lead to patients potentially suffering from cirrhosis of the liver due to the build-up of iron, and other serious health problems.

“Given that this is a life-long chronic illness, it needs to be designated under the Long-Term Illness scheme. The health system doesn’t take into account a person’s ability to pay. The income thresholds for qualifying for a medical card are relatively low, and for people who sit just above that limit, this is an unfair and exorbitant charge.

“I have written to the Minister asking him to include haemochromatosis on the Long-Term Illness scheme so that people who require this ongoing treatment are not deterred from accessing it due to financial hardship. I hope that the Minister realises that this is an equality of access issue, and that the current situation is not fair for patients who are struggling to pay for this necessary treatment.”

 

Imelda Munster Welcomes Upgrade of Staleen Water Plant

Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster has welcomed the news that the contract has been signed to expand and upgrade the Staleen Water Plant in Drogheda.

Commenting Deputy Munster said “following on from the mayhem caused during July when 200,000 people were left without water for six days it is good news to hear that the water plant at Staleen is finally to be upgraded and modernised to make it fit for purpose.

“It should have been invested in and upgraded over the years instead of waiting for a crisis of this magnitude to happen.  The contract will include the replacement of the rising main which contributed greatly to the cause of the water shortage crisis. With the contract signed for the expansion and upgrade of the plant work is expected to begin before the end of this year”.

Imelda Munster TD Welcomes Reports of Ardee Bypass Funding

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today welcomed media reports that funding has been made available for the construction of the Ardee bypass.

Deputy Munster said:

“I am happy to hear that Transport Minister Shane Ross has allocated funding for the Ardee bypass. The project was excluded from the capital investment programme originally, and so it is certainly good news for the people of Ardee that funding has been secured.

“I have raised the matter of bypass with both the Minister for Transport on several occasions and with officials from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). A commitment was given by TII at a meeting of the Oireachtas Transport Committee last November to include the project in the midterm review of the Capital Plan, and I am glad to see that the Ardee bypass has been allocated funding as part of that process.

“I have written to the Minister seeking further information regarding how much funding is to be made available and seeking a start date and a timeline for the project.

“The local community has been campaigning for the construction of the bypass for many years, with many disappointments and delays along the way. The area has been neglected in terms of investment for too long, and so it is to be welcomed that this project is finally progressing.”