Sneem to finally get new doctor
RETIRING GP PRAISES PUBLIC FOR CAMPAIGN TO FIND REPLACEMENT
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.