A sick animal can be treated quicker in some parts of Co Cork than a sick person, according to county councillors.
They are to ask senior representatives from SouthDoc and the HSE to attend a forthcoming council meeting to discuss what councillors feel is a less than adequate out-of-hours medical service being provided in certain parts of the county.
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said he was very concerned that the SouthDoc centre in Kinsale had been closed and that patients from that area were now having to rely on the SouthDoc centre in Bandon.
“If you’re a farmer in the Kinsale area, you can get a vet out within five to 10 minutes for an emergency. It takes far longer to get a doctor,” said Mr Murphy.
Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind), who also lives in the Kinsale area, said it was a “retrograde move” to close the centre there.
“There have already been a number of issues with people in critical condition having to go to Bandon. I met a man playing golf on the Old Head [of Kinsale] who said we have first-class golf courses and a third-world health service,” said Mr Coleman.
Cllr Mary Linehan-Foley (Ind), who lives in Youghal, said she was very concerned that people in her town had to travel to the SouthDoc centre in Midleton for out-of-hours treatment.
“I’m a member of the HSE [South] forum and I can’t find out what is expected of SouthDoc and what they should cover. I agree that you can get a vet faster than a doctor in some parts of the county,” said Ms Linehan-Foley.
Cllr Rachel McCarthy (SF), who is based in Bandon, said the withdrawal of the Kinsale centre was putting extra burden on the doctors in Bandon.
“You could now be waiting a couple of hours [for the Bandon service]. There should be a proper out-of-hours doctors’ service provided by the State at all community hospitals in the county,” said Ms McCarthy.
Cllr Michael Hegarty (FG), who is based in East Cork, said the council needs to do everything it could “to nip in the bud” closures of SouthDoc centres.
“We need to get representatives of SouthDoc and the HSE in here to explain the situation,” said Mr Hegarty.
“We want a total review of SouthDoc operations in this county. This is literally a life or death situation,” said Cllr Murphy.
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