Health services to remain in Ederney
THE Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) has quashed any speculation that Ederney Health Centre is to close or have its services reduced.
Fears that changes were to be made to the single-handed GP Practice came as a result of the retirement of Dr Michele Mellotte.
But a spokesperson for the HSCB says work is currently under way to ensure that the full range of services remains in Ederney.
She added however that the question of who provides that service is yet to be decided.
And she said the HSCB is currently unable to commit to where the service provision will be delivered since the current health centre is owned by the former GP rather than the Board itself.
Dr Mellotte retired on March 31, 2012. Since then cover at the surgery has been provided through locum health professionals.
The vacancy had been advertised with a preferred start date for the successful candidate of January 2013.
It stated the practice has a list size of 1,500 patients.
Candidates were required to have a Primary Medical Degree, have a full registration with the General Medical Council on the date of making application and have a minimum of one year's experience as a Sessional Doctor or GP Principal, among other specifications.
The advertisement stated applications were also welcome from neighbouring GP Practices who wished to operate an additional survey in Ederney.
Erne North Councillor Raymond Farrell said he believed rural communities like Ederney deserved a first class health care service.
"I certainly am not aware of any official plans to change the current status of the Health Centre in Ederney," he said, "I know from various contacts with people who use the services here, that they are greatly valued and certainly going into 2013, I want to see a service which is accessible, available and will continue to meet the needs of this area. Living in a rural community presents many challenges in terms of health and certainly in the new world of the "Transforming your Care" document, how health care will be delivered will change.
"We must ensure that rural communities like Ederney receive a first class service in terms of health care and that access to early intervention, health promotion and self-help approaches are promoted when ever possible."
According to the HSCB spokesperson, a new GP should be instated soon, pending confirmation of their acceptance of the contract.
"The HSCB recently initiated the selection process necessary and is awaiting confirmation of acceptance of the GP service provision contract from the successful applicant. When confirmation of the decision has been received the HSCB will take all measures necessary to inform practice patients and the general public," said the spokesperson.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 03 Jan 13