Muff meets today over doc shortage
by Damian Dowds, Inishowen Independent
A PUBLIC meeting will be held in Muff today (Sunday,
March 4) to address the inconsistent service at the
local health centre where weekly GP visits have been
reduced to fortnightly visits – or worse – over the
“Muff has had a weekly visit from a GP for countless
years, but it has been hit and miss for months now,”
said local resident, Mary Porter. “Now, we’re lucky
to have a doctor here every fortnight.”
Last Wednesday's clinic at Muff was cancelled, with
a handwritten note posted in the window of the
health centre saying it was due to staff shortages.
Questions put to the HSE about the nature of the
staff shortage, and the issue of GP services at Muff
Health Centre, had not been answered at time of
going to press on Wednesday.
Mary Porter said that she went to the Muff Medical
Centre last Wednesday fortnight for treatment for an
ongoing ailment, but the clinic was closed.
“I have no car and had to arrange a lift to go to
Buncrana the following day.
“I had to be taken out of my bed and when I went to
Buncrana I spent an hour and a half waiting to see a
doctor – and half of the patients in the waiting
room beside me were from Muff.
“Why should we all have
to go to Buncrana, when the medical centre there is
already very busy as it is? Why can a doctor not
come to Muff for three hours once a week?”
She added that travelling to Buncrana from Muff was
very difficult for people, like herself, who didn’t
have their own transport. Some people have had to
pay for taxis to take them.
Gleneely-based TD Charlie McConalogue said: “It’s
important that people have access to health services
in their local area.
Mary Porter outside Muff Health
“GP outreach clinics
perform a very important role in the community and
are important for those who find it more difficult
to travel. Such clinics have worked very well for
Muff and other communities in the past and I will do
everything I can in engaging with the HSE and GP
practices to try to ensure that a regular service is
provided locally for people in Muff.”
A GP from the Buncrana Health Centre is supposed to
attend a clinic at the Muff Health Centre every
Wednesday from 10-12.30pm. However, for the past
several months GPs have only attended on a
fortnightly basis, and occasionally would miss three
Today's meeting in St Mary’s Hall will run from
3pm-4pm and everyone who wants to retain a GP
service at Muff is asked to attend. Public
representatives have been invited.
“We’re not asking for a lot,” Mary Porter said. “We
can’t let this go on any longer. There are several
doctors in Buncrana and we want them to release a
doctor to Muff for three hours on a Wednesday.”