Independent Councillor John Campbell has written to the HSE demanding answers on speculation that the service is to be slashed.
Cllr Campbell is concerned about the safety of patients in many areas including Mountcharles and Derrybeg should proposed plans to cut back on the service be implemented by the HSE.
‘I have received several reports from constituents who are concerned at the possibilities of severe cut backs on the Now Doc services which would raise serious safety issues for the people of South and West Donegal’ the Councillor states.
‘The suggestion is that the service would cease from midnight to 9 am in the Derrybeg and Mountcharles areas leaving people needing urgent care dependant on one Doctor operating from Letterkenny,” he claimed.
He says the geographical extent and rural nature of Donegal will make this impossible and impact on safety safety.
He has put three questions to the Now Doc management –
1) Whether a review of NoWDoc service provision is currently taking place?
2) Whether such a curtailment of service as speculated above is being given consideration in this review?
3) What are the guidelines and criteria that govern the provision for patient care in relation to the NoWDoc service?
Cllr Campbell has also called on the Doctors and staff currently providing the Now Doc service to make their views known to the HSE on the suggested cutbacks affecting their patients.
‘I understand that the Doctors participating in the service work one night in seven’ says Campbell ‘and are supported financially by the HSE should a locum be necessary at any time.
“During the years the service has been provided none of the service providers have expressed dissatisfaction. It is difficult to understand why the service is now under threat – I would ask people to make their views known to their G.Ps on this vital matter and I am confident of the support of all of my colleagues,” he said.
Cllr Campbell says he will keep the public informed of any developments.