There are no plans to reopen the GP satelite service in Annagry because of the threat of Covid.
That was the response to Deputy Thomas Pringle’s query to the Minister for Health after he queried why the service had not reopened in recent months.
The issue was raised with Deputy Pringle by local county councillor Micheal Mac Gioalla Easbuig.
The Minister told Deputy Pringle that adequate GP services are available nearby in Dungloe and Burtonport.
In a reply to Deputy Pringle, the Minister said “The two GP practices who were providing a satellite service from Annagry pre Covid have not returned to Annagry Health Centre and have no plans to return at this time.
“Covid is still a very real concern within the practice setting with infection control and cross contamination being the primary concern. Annagry Health Centre is a shared building with multiple users and the GPs feel that this poses an increased risk.
“Within their main Centres of GP Practice in Dungloe and Burtonport the GPs can operate within a more controlled environment. They have access to multiple seating and waiting areas and can operate a one-way system for entry and exit which can minimize patients having to cross paths.”
The Minister added that the local GPs have also reported that they are unable to offer the same range of services, including Immunizations, Phlebotomy, ECG and BP monitoring in Annagry due in the main to poor connectivity, which also occasionally leaves them unable to access patient charts, all of which make consultations unsafe and unsatisfactory.
He added the people of Annagry continue to attend the GP in Dungloe and Burtonport where they are offered a very safe, effective and efficient service.
However, local county councillor Mac Giolla Easbuig said this was simply not good enough stating that not all local people had access to cars to take them to Burtonport or Dungloe.
“I have had a lot of people on to me about losing this important service. Even getting the local link then you are left waiting hours for the service and still have to walk.
“We can’t lose any more services in a community which has lost so much already,” he said.