HSE says physio ser­vice to re­turn

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Christy Parker

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”.

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