A Galway TD and Minister has slammed “ridiculous” restrictions on opening hours at Tuam’s Primary Care Centre.

Galway East TD and Minister for Rural Affairs Seán Canney has called on the Health Service Executive to renegotiate the contracts with the Primary Care Centre operators in order to rectify the situation without delay.

Minister Canney said: “We have a ridiculous situation whereby Tuam Primary Care Centre closes at Saturday lunchtime and does not open on Sundays.

“Patients cannot be expected to time their medical needs to suit the facilities management of the centre. The Primary Care Centres were supposed to take pressure off the hospitals. This an even more acute issue for my constituents while we wait on plans for the new A and E at University Hospital Galway and the new 50-bed unit at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, to be expedited.

“The Primary Care Centre operators are dictating when centres open and close. Their operation should be patient-led.

“The HSE nationally, which signed the contracts, needs to get back in charge and do so as a matter of urgency. It is not fair on the local HSE management who are having to deal with this situation.

“Too much public money has been invested in these centres. It is the public that should be determining when the centres open, not private companies.

“This affects Primary Care Centres nationally. The HSE should intervene to ensure that our services follow the needs of patients and not the administration of buildings.

Tuam Primary Care Centre opened for services in December 2017. The 2,500sqm facility was part of a 14-project Public Private Partnership programme to provide Primary Care Centres around Ireland.

For more information, contact Minister Canney on 086-2513639

July 12 2019