There is anger locally following the decision to merge the Westdoc out-of-hours GP service in Glenamaddy, Castlerea and Roscommon due to a failure to fill vacant posts in rural areas and the low numbers attending the service.
Westdoc has confirmed that merger with GPs based in the Primary Care Centre in Roscommon. Patients will also be seen in Glenamaddy or Castlerea as deemed appropriate by the doctor, however.
Westdoc claims that despite the merger, there will be no change in the hours of service provided to patients. Local patients have hit out at Westdoc for the way in which the merger was handled.
Ballinasloe Councillor Michael Connolly has written to the HSE requesting answers as to why the local communities weren’t made aware of the changes to the service.
Cllr. Connolly stated: “It has been brought to my attention in the past few days that the Westdoc Centre in Glenamaddy closed last Christmas (2018).
“People in the area have informed me that they only discovered this when they phoned Westdoc and were instructed or advised to go to Roscommon or Tuam.
“There has been an understanding that Glenamaddy was to be the Westdoc location for out of hours and weekends”.
Cllr. Connolly asked whether there had been a change to this policy and if so, why was it that the people in affected areas hadn’t been made aware of this change.
“This is, in my opinion, putting the lives of people who need medical assistance in further danger owing to the greater distances and time delays associated with those new arrangements,” he concluded.