Sneem to fi­nally get new doc­tor

RE­TIR­ING GP PRAISES PUB­LIC FOR CAM­PAIGN TO FIND RE­PLACE­MENT

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By TADHG EVANS

A DE­LIGHTED Dr Pa­trick Malone, who is set to re­tire next month af­ter 32 years as a GP in Sneem, has praised the peo­ple of his lo­cal­ity for their spir­ited cam­paign to main­tain a full­time GP ser­vice in the vil­lage, a cam­paign that ap­pears to have se­cured a suc­cess­ful out­come.

Dr Malone told The Ker­ry­man this week that an ap­pli­cant has been of­fered a po­si­tion fol­low­ing an in­ter­view process that took place within the last fort­night. The per­son can­not be named as a rat­i­fi­ca­tion process is still in mo­tion, but Dr Malone de­scribed the suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cant as “a most ap­pro­pri­ate se­lec­tion, and one that’s been ap­plauded in Sneem”.

It fol­lows al­most six months of anx­i­ety in the South Kerry vil­lage, as res­i­dents grew deeply con­cerned the re­gion might lose its GP ser­vice. The near­est ser­vice out­side of Sneem is in Ken­mare, some 20 miles away.

Dr Malone in­formed the HSE in April of his in­ten­tion to re­tire in Oc­to­ber, but two ef­forts to fill his po­si­tion ear­lier this year drew no ap­pli­cants. A third at­tempt had also failed to at­tract any of­fi­cial in­ter­est with just days left un­til dead­line.

But a lo­cal cam­paign, which in­cluded a pe­ti­tion that has since drawn well over 1,600 sig­na­tures, turned the for­tunes of the floun­der­ing re­cruit­ment drive.

“I think it’s true to say that this is an ex­am­ple of peo­ple power at its best,” Dr Malone told The Ker­ry­man.

“I think it also high­lights what the HSE needs to do to fill po­si­tions in ar­eas sim­i­lar to Sneem. The ini­tial ad­ver­tise­ments didn’t em­pha­sise enough of what Sneem has go­ing for it but, af­ter I prompted the HSE on that point, that changed.”

Dr Malone also re­it­er­ated that the HSE should look to qual­i­fied doc­tors in other other coun­tries around Europe as part of its ef­forts to fill such roles.

“This is great news for Sneem. I am de­lighted and it shows what can be done when peo­ple get to­gether to get the re­sult they need,” he added.

Re­tir­ing GP Dr Paddy Malone, Sneem. Photo:Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van

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