Shannondoc have been accused of spinning by Clare TD Timmy Dooley who believes patients are being used as pawns as changes are foisted on rural communities in the county.
In a statement released to The Clare Herald, Deputy Dooley said “The confirmation by the HSE that there has been no appreciable reduction in the number of GPs available in the county between 2010 and 2016 clearly undermines the previously stated reason why Shannon Doc reduced their service”.
He chaired a meeting last weekend between local doctors, public representatives and the HSE in Killaloe. “The HSE has confirmed that there has been no cut to the almost €5 million annual support to the scheme. Unfortunately patients are being used as pawns in this increasing bitter dispute. Seven of the ten doctors assigned to the Killaloe area attended the meeting which was aimed at retaining the existing cover and services.”
Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Communications added “It is my understanding that doctors in Limerick City have a more favourable arrangement from Shannondoc, and this is clearly attracting doctors from peripheral areas like Killaloe. What is now clear is that Shannondoc are pandering to the wishes of three doctors at the expense of the other seven, but more importantly at the expense of local people. A number of doctors have already stated that replacement service as currently designed is unsafe from a patient point of view.”
“As a public representative, I am deeply concerned when professionals as highly skilled as GPs judge a public service to be unsafe, and it is my duty to challenge this behaviour. The issue at the heart of this problem is the fact that a number of doctors have decided to take the easy option with regard to fulfilling their contractual obligations. They have transferred their ‘out of hours’ cover to Limerick City rather than maintaining cover in the Killaloe area he said of the cutbacks to the Killaloe service.
“With regard to issues in West Clare, there is clearly a need to recruit additional GPs to provide a full service for Shannondoc. I am calling on the existing doctors in the catchment area to show more flexibility and creativity with regard to maintaining the existing service pending the recruitment of additional GPs to the scheme. Shannondoc need to stop the spinning, and reverse the cuts in services”.