The Department of Social Protection has attempted to downplay claims of a rift between it and GPs over the introduction of a new scheme relating to illness benefit
Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler has said that she is relieved that the new GP for Fourmilewater is expected to take up their post from December 1.
Deputy Butler was commenting after receiving confirmation from the HSE Primary Care team that the position has been offered to and accepted by an applicant.
“This is an issue I have been raising for some time, and indeed again today, I raised it with Minister the Minister for Health only this week. The position was advertised last June with a locum service in operation over the past 12 months," the Waterford deputy commented.
"The staff at the practice have consistently worked with HSE officials to source a locum until a permanent replacement could be identified."
“This has been done on a piecemeal basis for the past 12 months in order to give the patients continuity of care. This is an extremely rural area and the lack of a full-time GP has caused great worry and upset for the large group of patients that avail of the health services currently offered at the Fourmilewater Health Centre," Butler added.
“I have been informed that they will take up their position from Saturday, 1st December with their first working day in the surgery on Monday, 3rd December 2018.
“This is great news for the local community who were worried about not having a GP. Fourmilewater is an incredibly rural area, and having a local, full-time GP in situ is crucial. I look forward to meeting with the new GP and working with them in the community,” concluded Butler.