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Tag Archives: GPs

Shannon GP critical of Covid plan ‘chaos and confusion’

A SHANNON GP has hit out the handling of circumstances around the health minister’s Covid-19 test last Tuesday the day it unveiled the new roadmap for living with the virus. Dr Yvonne Williams said that misunderstanding over who should isolate while a contact of theirs is awaiting a test result, smacked of “chaos and confusion”. “The advice is that while someone is awaiting results of a test, their household should restrict their movements,” she explained. “If someone has a positive test, then their contacts are advised to isolate.” On Tuesday, shortly after addressing a press conference on the Living with Covid-19 plan, Minister Stephen Donnelly felt unwell and contacted his GP to arrange a coronavirus test. Following that news, the cabinet, as well as Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn, were told to restrict their movements as a precaution. The Dáil was then adjourned, at first for a period of one week, before being reconvened later on Tuesday evening. …

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Family doctors braced for rush on flu vaccinations

PRESSURE will increase on already stretched GP-services as a flu vaccination scheme is extended from the middle of next month. While the move to offer free vaccination to children aged between two and 12 has been welcomed in a bid to avoid a second wave of Covid-19 coinciding with an upsurge in flu, concerns have been voiced about the knock-on impact on other services. “If, as we expect, over half a million children are to get flu vaccinations from mid-October, that will mean that hundreds of thousands of appointments will be taken up,” she noted. “Children will have to be Covid-screened before vaccination and monitored afterwards. There is no way that this won’t have a knock-on effect. People will have to wait long for other services and we’d ask them to remember that this for the common good. Children rarely get very sick with flu and this measure is part of a plan to protect older and more vulnerable people …

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GPs under pressure due to parental Covid questions

FAMILY doctors are braced for a challenging winter, with pressure already coming on the service just weeks after children returned to school. Already a number of primary classes have had to be suspended temporarily and at least one national school closed due to Covid-19. There is also said to be considerable confusion over what kind of symptoms should raise red flags over attendance at school. “When it comes to the public health guidelines, it seems that the advice from every source is to contact your GP,” said Dr Máire Finn of the Centric Medical Centre. “Given the pressures the service is under, we can’t be the only port of call. We are getting a large number of people with questions over whether or not children should be going to school and sometimes, we just can’t answer them. I can foresee a situation where the whole winter is taken up with people keeping kids off school when they should be in, …

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Concerns grow over health impact of Covid restrictions

CALLS for the fast-tracking of medical procedures, deferred because of Covid-19, are gathering momentum, as a leading Clare cancer campaigner described the situation as “incredibly concerning”. Quin resident John Wall, who has terminal prostate cancer, said the postponing of elective procedures, as well as the suspension of the national breast and cervical cancer screening programmes, needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency. “The government nationalised public hospitals, in good faith, because of the potential overflow that was envisaged because of a potential peak in Coronavirus,” he said. “Thankfully, that surge hasn’t materialised. However, we now find ourselves in the position that the vast majority of public beds are lying empty, elective procedures have been cancelled. We’re reopening the country, but we have no definitive plan yet to move forward on this. Ultimately, we all want universal healthcare. I pay for private health insurance, I would prefer not [to have] to. I would prefer to place my faith in …

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Shannondoc cuts are ‘deeply flawed’

The planned reduction in GP out-of-hours services in Clare has been condemned as “deeply flawed” by Deputy Timmy Dooley. Shannondoc’s Kilrush and Ennistymon service will close from Monday to Friday, relocating to Miltown Malbay, while the out-of-hours clinic will only open at weekends in Kilrush and Ennistymon. The Killaloe clinic will open during weekends only, on an as-needs basis, with a mobile doctor serving the centre. At weekends, the operating hours will change from 9am to 9pm to 2pm to 6pm, with patients to be seen in Limerick, Ennis and Nenagh centres outside of those hours. The changes to the Killaloe service will start next Monday while the timeframe for changes in West Clare is expected in the near future. The problems caused by the reduction in the number of centres from five to three were outlined by Deputy Dooley, during a special debate in Dáil Éireann. The Fianna Fáil Deputy said it is clear that the evidence upon which …

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Shannondoc services slashed

THE Mid-West’s out-of-hours GP service, Shannondoc, has confirmed that due to a continued shortage of doctors, it is no longer able to maintain existing out-of-hours service levels across all its centres. Shannondoc, a not-for-profit service delivered by GPs in the region, will introduce changes to its Killaloe, Kilrush and Ennistymon centres over the coming weeks. The Killaloe clinic will open during weekdays only on an as-needs basis, with a mobile doctor servicing the centre, while at weekends the operating hours will change from 9am to 9pm to 2pm to 6pm, with patients seen at Limerick, Ennis and Nenagh centres outside those hours. Shannondoc’s Kilrush and Ennistymon service will relocate to Miltown Malbay during weekdays, with the same operating hours applying. Both centres will be operational on Saturdays and Sundays up to 7pm, instead of 9pm as it is currently. Kilrush county councillor Ian Lynch has called for an immediate public meeting on the issue, noting that the 35-mile journey from …

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TDs to Face GPs

SEVEN TDs are to attend a special meeting with Mid-West GPs in Limerick this evening to discuss the crisis in general practice. The meeting is scheduled for 7.30pm at the Strand Hotel. At a previous meeting in Cork over 250 GPs attended to pass on their message to members of the Oireachtas. Though the meeting is not open to the media, there will be a briefing beforehand on the concerns GPs have about the lack of resources being devoted to primary care and the impact this is having on patients. The meeting will be chaired by Dr Conor McGee, and speakers at the event include Dr Edward Walsh, founding president, Limerick University; along with GPs Mary Gray, Miriam Callanan, Emmet Kerin and Michael Harty.  

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