Concern over shortage of GPs in North Kildare

Maynooth affected in particular

Concern over shortage of GPs in North Kildare

File photo

People in North Kildare are struggling to find GPs following two recent retirements while existing practices are already at full capacity. 

Councillor Angela Feeney said: "I have been pursuing this issue for a while now because of the number of people who have contacted me so worried and under pressure to source a GP place. There has always been a demand due to increasing population but the situation has got worse due to the recent retirement of two GPs with large practices in Maynooth. Many patients have found themselves with no replacement GP service and can't get one in a neighbouring town either because they're already at capacity.

"If you are a medical card holder you might get some support from the HSE, you have to show evidence of three refusals and then HSE will assign you a GP. But if you're not a medical card holder, you have to keep looking and the HSE takes a hands off approach, they have a 'laissez faire' attitude. Many parents of sick children with an ongoing condition have to fend for themselves. This is not an optional extra, it's a requirement and just not good enough."

She said she had written to the HSE about the problem.

It said it was progressing with plans for services at the new Primary Care Centre and hoped to have secured a GP for the centre by the end of the year. It said the HSE does not restrict the number of GPs for any area and gave advice for anyone with a medical card who was without a GP. 

In response, Cllr Feeney said; "Maynooth has no Primary Care Centre, there's one in the pipeline but that will take a few years before it's built and open for use, but that's no good if you are looking right now."

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