Donegal North East Fianna Fáil Deputy Charlie McConalogue has called on the Health Service Executive to give an absolute commitment to maintaining NoWDOC services in all five centres across Donegal. Deputy McConalogue was commenting following ongoing speculation about the future of the out-of-hours GP service in the North West and the HSE proposals to centralise the receptionist service at Ballybofey.
Deputy McConalogue explained, “Having met the HSE along with other Oireachtas members last Friday, I have sought clarification on the future of NoWDOC. The HSE assured me that they have no immediate plans to dilute the service, however discussions are taking place to consider scrapping the current situation where receptionists are located at each centre. Intead, this would be replaced by a centralised receptionist service in Ballybofey.
“There are real concerns about possible cutbacks to our out-of-ours GP service in the future. The HSE must give an absolute commitment that NoWDOC services will not be diluted in any way. I believe it is important that they do so publicly and without delay, in order to reassure families and individuals throughout Donegal who are worried about a reduction in this essential service.
“It is absolutely essential for local areas to be fully covered by an out of hours GP service. The HSE has a duty to the public to clarify their position in relation to NoWDOC services in a way that removes any doubts whatsoever on the issue.”