HSE says physio service to return
The HSE says it is “committed to continuing the provision of the physiotherapy service in Youghal as soon as possible”, following the retirement of a senior therapist that saw the service terminate on April 6.
The failure to provide a replacement physiotherapist, on cost grounds, has caused widespread anger across east Cork, with patients now having to join a waiting list at Midleton hospital that was already estimated at 16 weeks.
Cllr Mary Linehan-Foley said the closure is “shocking” and “contrary to HSE policy of caring for people within their own primary care area”. Those affected include outpatients, home visits, inpatients at Youghal Community Hospital, Cois Abhainn respite home, and St Raphael’s Centre Youghal, which caters for those with intellectual disabilities. Other areas hit by the closure include Cloyne, Ballymacoda, Shanagarry, Caslemartyr, Ladysbridge, Mogeely, and Mountuniack.
The assurance that the service has been only temporarily suspended was communicated to Midleton-based County Councillor Noel Collins by Primary Care head of service at Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Teresa O’Donovan. Ms O’Donovan was replying to the councillor’s written appeal to Health Minister Simon Harris, which was forwarded to her office.
However, the response does not provide any details of when the service may be restored or any details of what measures, if any, are in progress to expedite the process.
Expressing “regret at the temporary disruption”, Ms O’Donovan said: “The physiotherapy manager has arrangements in place to ensure an emergency service is provided to the area by physiotherapists based elsewhere.”
Cllr Collins describes the reply as “falling far short of what we need to hear” and calls for the HSE to “comply with Government policy to protect the weakest and most vulnerable of society”.