The HSE say they intend to develop a Primary Care Centre in Youghal providing community based healthcare for all.
The promise was made at a recent Sitting of the Southern Regional Health Forum following concerns raised by Cllr Mary Linehan Foley over the closure of the Castlemartyr Health Care unit, which is to close within weeks, with its services being transferred to Carrigtwohill Primary Care.
It is believed that St Raphael’s Hospital is the preferred location for the development of a state of the art facility that can accommodate a range of primary care services such as GP, Community Nursing, Home Help, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy.
Previously the HSE had sought submissions from private interests who were planning to develop health services in Youghal and which would facilitate the delivery of Primary Health Care in conjunction with local General Practitioners, but ‘no suitable proposal came forward.’
Chief Officer for Cork and Kerry Community Healthcare, Ger Reaney, said ‘the HSE is currently reviewing potential sites for such a Centre.’
He said ‘the options under consideration include the potential location of a Primary Care Centre on the site of St Raphael’s Centre. However, no final decision has yet been made.’
The HSE plan to open 12 Centres across Cork and Kerry in the next two years, seven of which are in Cork.
These include Cobh, Bantry, Fermoy, Castletownbere, Clonakilty, Kanturk and Newmarket.
Cllr Linehan Foley had argued that it did not make sense to have a Primary Care service planned for Cobh, when there is already a facility in Carrigtwohill.
She said Cobh is just 20 minutes by road to their nearest hospital, and Carrigtwohill just 15 minutes away. “The nearest Hospital to Youghal is an hour away, and after 6:00pm there is no doctor available in the town which has a population of 12,000. The nearest South Doc facility for residents is 40 minutes away in Midleton.”
Welcoming the commitment to the East Cork area Cllr Linehan Foley said “We need to keep pushing this for Youghal and the greater East Cork region.”
“When developed, the Centre has the potential of providing for 95% of people’s day to day health and social care needs in a community setting” she said
There are currently 10 Primary Care Centres in operation across Cork County-Carrigtwohill, Blackrock, Carrigaline, Charleville, Gurranabraher, Kinsale, Macroom, Mallow, Mitchelstown and Skull.