The Director of Integrated Care for the Health and Social Care Board, Sloan Harper, will meet local Councillors and the community in Rosslea today (Thursday) to discuss the closure of the village’s GP surgery.
Rosslea GP surgery shut on Saturday, following an announcement by the HSCB that all patients currently registered in Rosslea, Newtownbutler and Dr. Leary’s former practice at Lisnaskea would be registered with the Maple Group Practice in Lisnaskea Health Centre.
The news was met with anger in Rosslea, which is set to lose its secondary school this September when St. Eugene’s College amalgamates with St. Comhghll’s College in Lisnaskea.
At a committee meeting last week, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council agreed to seek an urgent meeting with the HSCB to discuss local GP services.
Dr. Harper will meet councillors at 2pm today (Thursday) at The Grange in Omagh, before travelling to Rosslea for a public meeting at Rosslea Community Centre at 7.30pm, organised by Sinn Féin Erne East Councillor, Brian McCaffrey and MLA Sean Lynch.
Councillor McCaffrey said: “The community understand that decision makers in the health service face difficult choices and recruitment of GPs in rural areas can be problematic. However, in South-East Fermanagh we are not convinced that all the options or a proper recruitment trawl for GPs has been undertaken, nor that all innovative solutions to work share with doctors and health service staff in rural areas have been exhausted.
“We have asked leaders and key decision makers in the health service to a public meeting in Roslea Community Centre to discuss and explain the current situation and to urge them to work on innovative solutions to save our services and to work constructively and openly with local communities to solve this crisis.”
Seán Lynch MLA acknowledged that younger GPs are choosing to be part of larger practices where they can spend more time with patients, rather than on day to day management and administration.
“We understand this,” he said.
“However, we must work together to ensure that people in rural areas do not suffer unnecessarily by not being able to access vital services.”
He urged concerned locals to attend the meeting and to “bring positive ideas to the table on how to address this crisis.”