A Cork councillor has started a petition calling for the retention of a public health centre that has been earmarked for closure, a move she said will force patients to take three connecting buses to reach their new centre.
The HSE intends to close the centre in Passage West and to transfer all services to the new primary care centre in Carrigaline.
Ballincollig-Carrigaline councillor Marcia D’Alton said the move means that those in Passage West who depend on public transport will have to get connecting buses to Carrigaline — which is about 10km away if driving directly on the main road — at an accumulated cost of €11 for a single person on a one-way trip.
The time spent on travelling to the centre would be over two hours.
To demonstrate this, Cllr D’Alton undertook the trip to Carrigaline by public transport from Passage West, and posted her journey to YouTube.
She has now posted a petition calling on the HSE to reverse its decision, and said the trip will be prohibitive for many.
“At present, the bus trip from Passage West to the new primary care centre in Carrigaline takes over two hours in three bus connections,” she said. “Our town of Passage West, a town of almost 6,000 people, is a community of a size and need deserving of direct healthcare delivery.”
Cllr D’Alton is hoping to gain 1,000 signatures on her petition, and has nearly 400 backing her call since the notice was posted at the weekend.
The HSE said the centre is not due to close until early 2018, that the building is not fit for purpose, and that it has offered to meet with local representatives on this matter.
“The transfer of services will take place in a planned way,” the HSE said.
“It’s also important to stress that the building in Passage West is not fit for purpose and is does not meet the standards for clinical service delivery.
“We understand the concerns people have about access to Carrigaline, and we are in discussion with Bus Éireann on improving public transport access."
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