Deputy James Lawless has today welcomed confirmation by the HSE regional management that, following a successful interview process last week, a new doctor has been offered the replacement contract to fill the position vacated by Dr. Molony and has accepted.

There had been significant concern in the area when the previous doctor retired and an interim locum service had seen available cover drop from 100 hours down to 18 hours weekly.

Following a huge turnout at a public meeting, Deputy Lawless met with the HSE last month to stress the urgency of finding a replacement GP and went on to raise it in the Dáil.

Deputy Lawless raised the specific case of Johnstownbridge during the debate on the Public Health Bill in the Dáil chamber last week and called on the Minister to act and address this issue as a matter of urgency.

Deputy Lawless said “I am delighted to confirm that as of tonight the HSE have confirmed the offer of the position at Johnstownbridge to a new applicant who has accepted the post.
I had raised this matter in the Dáil chamber just last week and have been in constant talks with the HSE. This and the lobbying from the local ‘Save Our Surgery’ Committee has clearly delivered results”.

“It is a credit to the committee and our lobbying efforts that this public pressure has worked. I want to commend the residents who supported our committee, the people who signed the petition and gave heart felt testimonials, and to thank retired Dr. Molony for his support.

“Across the country this pattern has repeated when GP’s retired and are not replaced. This was a big concern in Johnstownbridge. We were determined to ensure this did not happen again. I am delighted the residents in North West Kildare will now have full cover once more. While the logistics have yet to be worked out we can confirm this will be a full time service restored to the health centre in Johnstownbridge this November”.

“At a policy level it remains a concern that this issue could easily repeat in another rural practice, in Kildare or elsewhere, and I will continue to lobby at national level to address this.