GP services look set to be restored later this month in Newmarket-on-Fergus where there hasn’t been a full-time doctor since May last year.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has told Clare Fine Gael deputy Joe Carey that the long-awaited GP service will be provided by Dr Colum Gavin of the Saffron and Blue Medical Centre and will operate from the Health and Wellness Centre at Carrigoran House, just outside the village.
Deputy Carey and other local public representatives have fought for the past twelve months to have services restored in area. Talks between one prospective candidate and the HSE broke down late last year plunging locals into further uncertainty.
Deputy Carey has now said: “This is great news for the people of Newmarket and surrounding catchment areas – they have been without a GP for far too long. I would like to welcome Dr Gavin and wish him and the Saffron and Blue Medical Centre the very best as they prepare to deliver what I’m sure will be a top quality health service for the parish.
“It’s taken a lot of time and work to finally get to this point, but I’m relieved we finally have confirmation that full-time GP services will resume at Newmarket very soon.”
Deputy Carey said it was his preference, and that of many people locally, for the new GP service to be located in the centre of the village.
Clare Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe said: “The HSE has announced that Dr Colum Gavin has accepted the position. This means the long-running saga of the GP vacancy for the town is finally coming to an end; some 13 months after the retirement of Dr Colm Hackett.
“I am delighted to see that there is finally a positive development in this situation. It’s been a long-running concern for people living in and around Newmarket, who have not had a family doctor serving their community for over a year now.
“I am confident that Dr Gavin will be more than capable in terms of replacing Dr Hackett, who I know was much-loved by the people of Newmarket. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Yvonne Williams, Shannon Medical Centre for the medical services she has provided to the patients for the past year,” Deputy Crowe added.