Fianna Fáil Senator, Lorraine Clifford-Lee has said that the Government’s failure to deliver on providing a primary care centre in North County Dublin is contrary to its supposed commitment to improve community health based services.

In information provided to Fianna Fáil, just one of the 35 Primary Care Centres promised by then Minister for Health, James Reilly in July 2012 is operational.

The Fingal based Senator, “When the project was announced as part of domestic infrastructure stimulus we were told that a centre in Balbriggan would be up and running in the first quarter of this year. However, construction was only completed in the second quarter of the year and it is yet to open.

“Given the degree of controversy which was generated back in 2012, it seems senseless that the Government wouldn’t do its utmost to complete the project on time and as promised.

“Fingal is an extensive area that has a rapidly expanding population of almost 300,000 people which must be adequately provided with primary care services. Regrettably, the project to construct a Primary Care Centre in Swords remains at an early stage five years on.

“Primary and community based care plays an essential role in ensuring that those who do not need to be in acute careare removed from a hospital setting, by providing a range of multi-disciplinary services in the community.

“This distinct lack of progress is an indictment of the Government’s failure to follow through on its promise to develop of sufficient primary care services. We are continually promised its delivery, yet little urgency has been applied to provide the services.

The Senator concluded, “We need the infrastructure in place. It is critical that these centres are actually delivered.”