THE removal of Dunkineely’s GP surgery has been branded as a “hammerblow” to the community.
The well-established surgery is to close today, leaving the area with no GP service. Instead, people will have to travel to Glenties to attend appointments with their GP.
The news emerged on Friday when Sinn Féin TD for Donegal, Deputy Pearse Doherty, and the party’s councillor for Donegal Municipal District, Cllr Noel Jordan, were informed of the closure of the surgery.
They were told that from today there is to be no GP service in the area.
Cllr Jordan said the announcement has left many people in “limbo”.
He said: “I have contacted the HSE to find out if they have had any role in this decision and to find out if they have considered the stress this will cause many in the community. I have also been assured by my party colleagues that this issue will be raised at health forums as soon as possible.”
Teachta Doherty said the removal of the vital service will cause “unnecessary stress”.
“While I appreciate that a General Practice is private practice, I will be asking the HSE if they believe there is appropriate cover for the local community. I’ll also be seeking clarification on if there are any steps that can be taken to keep the practice in Dunkineely.”
In a statement to the Donegal News, a HSE spokesperson said the move has arisen from difficulties around a vacant position, with the HSE working hard to recruit a permanent replacement doctor for the area.
But, with the process not having been finalised, an interim arrangement has been put in place.
“From Monday, November 21, Dr. Charles McManus will provide cover for GMS patients from the Health Centre in Glenties until a full-time GP service is returned to Dunkineely. Please note that if you need to visit the GP you should call (074) 9557811 to make an appointment.
“The HSE apologises for any inconvenience this arrangement may cause, but stresses that this is only an interim arrangement and it is hoped there will shortly be a GP service returned to Dunkineely Health Centre.”