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29 Jan 2022

Offaly Health Centre to remain open but questions 'still need to be answered'

Cloghan Health centre to remain open

Cloghan Health Centre

Assurances have been received from the Health Service Executive (HSE) that Cloghan Health Centre will remain available for those, who use the facility.

Several local public representatives raised the matter with the HSE last week around concerns that there were proposals to close the Cloghan Health Centre while the implications of such a closure to both Cloghan and its surrounding areas were also outlined.

Following these representations, confirmation was received that services at the centre will remain available for the almost 200 patients as an appointment based service.

  The centre currently provides a service which covers many patients from Cloghan, Shannonbridge, Clonmacnoise, Lumcloon, Shannon Harbour and Belmont. 

Commenting this week on the issue, Deputy Barry Cowen commented: “I have since learned that there are no plans regarding a closure of Cloghan Health Centre.  “A Primary Care Centre has opened in Banagher and indeed, almost all of the service users currently attending Cloghan have their GPs based in the new Banagher Primary Care Center. It’s thought that there are clear benefits in having all staff, HSE and GPs, under the one roof with regards to the flow of communication."

“However, it’s important to note that the moving of staff to Banagher is not and should not be equated with a closure of Cloghan. I have received assurances from the HSE that Cloghan will remain open on an appointments-based service for the patients who attend on weekly basis,” concluded Deputy Cowen. 

Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan also has welcomed confirmation that services at Cloghan Health Centre will remain available for the almost 200 patients who use the facility.

The Offaly TD engaged with the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on the issue and has sought further assurances that the centre will not be targeted at some future point instead:

“I very much welcome today’s news. It will bring great relief to all of those who have relied on it for medical services down throughout the years and indeed more recently. But I still think we do need clear and definitive guarantees that proposals to end the services at Cloghan are not just being kicked down the road because of the adverse public and political reaction the proposal generated.”

“We also need to know where the initial proposals emanated from? Who floated the idea around the total transfer of services and why? I will be seeking this certainty from the Minister and the HSE on these issues and more. In the meantime however it is great news that Cloghan Health Centre has been given this reprieve and that at least some common sense has been demonstrated,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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