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.”

Primary Care Centre needed in Dundalk – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin TD for Louth, challenged the Taoiseach during Leaders Questions on Tuesday regarding the provision of a Primary Care Centre for Dundalk and the allocation of resources for the mental health service at the Ladywell facility at the Louth Hospital, Dundalk.

Commenting on Budget 2017’s allocation of funding for health Gerry Adams was especially scathing of the failure of the government to provide sufficient funding for mental health services.

Teachta Adams said:

“Last week I visited the Ladywell mental health facility in Dundalk which provides services for much of North Louth.

“The staff are very dedicated but the conditions in which they are forced to treat patients is entirely unsuitable. 

“Rooms in the Ladywell Centre originally served as staff accommodation when the hospital was constructed over 70 years ago.  They are inappropriate for patients and staff and numerous offices are closed due to dampness. 

“The maintenance bill for roof repairs is a constant drain on resources and patients and staff also utilise a series of prefabs which are at the end of their usefulness.

“Staff recently added to the mental health team in North Louth do not have any suitable premises so they work out of St. Brigid’s in Ardee, with patients as far away as Carlingford having to make their own way to appointments. This is totally unacceptable.

“In May the European Investment Bank cleared a €70m loan to build fourteen new primary care centres.

“The construction of a primary care centre in the Dundalk region would facilitate the provision of mental health and other services to enable holistic treatment of patients at one location.

“However there is no primary care centre scheduled for the North East despite this area having some of the highest indices of deprivation and social isolation in the State.

“Two weeks ago Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil rejected a Sinn Féin motion to provide €20 million for 24/7 care for those in need of treatment for mental health issues. Instead the government decided to amend the Capital Acquisitions Tax providing an unnecessary windfall to some two thousand people each year at a cost of €20 million. 

“The Government talks a lot about the shift to primary care, it’s time to turn words into actions and deliver a primary care centre in Dundalk.”

 

Primary care services cut to the bone as Minister justifies overspend

imelda photo orangeSinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath, Imelda Munster asked questions this week in the Dáil about HSE plans to cut primary care services in the Louth-Meath area, and the news that the HSE has instructed management in the health service to save €1.5 million by way of staffing cuts between now and the end of the year.

She asked Minister for State Catherine Byrne, who was standing in for Minister for Health Simon Harris who was otherwise engaged, if the Minister would reverse this cut of €1.5million, given existing pressures on the services in Louth and Meath.

Deputy Munster:

“These measures will lead to serious cutbacks in services provided by occupational therapists, physiotherapists, public health nurses and, in particular, home help support staff. Last Friday week the HSE called a meeting at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Louth at which it informed management there that the contracts of nine full-time clerical and administrative staff and one part-time clerical worker were to be terminated with immediate effect. It beggars belief that at a time when we are seeing services, especially primary care services, cut to the bone, further cuts are being made just as we come into the winter months. That is totally unacceptable and amounts to neglect of patient care.”

The Minister’s response was that the 1.5million was an overspend.

Deputy Munster:

“How can you have overspend when services are already cut to the bone. How can the Minister justify this? It’s bordering on neglect of patient care.”