The HSE has disputed claims they are dismantling the NoWDOC Service in the region by revealing they plan to expand the service into North Leitrim.
The IMPACT Trade Union hit out at the HSE last week claiming that the GP Out of Hours Service – NoWDOC “appears as if it’s being dismantled by stealth.”
Richie Carruthers, Assistant General Secretary of IMPACT made the claims following a meeting with the HSE which he said unveiled plans to compulsory redeploy 16 Reception/Call Handler staff based in the organisations four outlying centres across the North West’s HSE facilities - including Carrick-on-Shannon.
Responding to the plan Mr Carruthers, said a formal complaint has been made to the Health Service Implementation Body in relation to the redeployment.
He said, “This latest announcement seems to part of the ongoing review to reduce the number of GP Out of Hours Services in the West from 3 to 1.
“It is an attack on vital services to the people living in rural communities.
“The upshot of this would mean effectively services users might turn up to any of the four outlying centres to find the doors are locked because the NoWDOC driver and doctor are out visiting patients”.
Carruthers went on to say “this plan fails on every front – it is undermining the much needed NoWDOC Service, it is a breach of the Croke Park Agreement and quite probably illegal under State’s Equality legislation because all of those facing redeployment are women and the Drivers being left in situ are all men.
“This not a situation that we will allow to develop without a fight, local HSE management are complicit in stripping health services from our people in that it is not an imposed decision from outside”.
Responding to these claims, a HSE West Spokesperson told the Leitrim Observer, “The HSE has described Impact’s statement that NoWDOC is being dismantled as false and without foundation.”
The HSE revealed to the paper that it “plans to expand the service into Co. Sligo and North Leitrim.”
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.