Concerns around lack of out-of-hours GP provision in Dungannon is to be raised with a group representing 80 per cent of all Northern Ireland GPs.
Mid Ulster District Council is seeking to discuss the withdrawal of the service at South Tyrone Hospital with the Royal College of General Practitioners NI (RCGPNI) and the British Medical Association (BMA)
Having already sought a meeting with both organisations during July’s monthly meeting of council to discuss the need for face-to-face contact with doctors, Councillor Barry Monteith requested another item be added to the agenda.
Speaking at a meeting on Thursday, Independent councillor Barry Monteith said the ongoing withdrawal of an out-of-hours GP service at South Tyrone Hospital needed to be addressed.
“We had been told during the summer months this was a temporary withdrawal that would be reviewed and that this review is supposedly ongoing,” he said.
“However, there is little confidence within the community that this service will be returned to the local area given past records.
“Like other councillors I get daily complaints about access to GPs and it is well on record in this council chamber that GP provision in Dungannon is on its knees and continues to be.”
He added: “We should also make the Southern Trust aware that it is the feeling of this elected body that this service needs to be returned to this community as a matter of utmost urgency.”
Councillor Clement Cuthbertson of the DUP said he fully supported Councillor Monteith’s request, noting it was a “total disgrace” the service had not yet been returned to Dungannon.
Council’s chief executive Adrian McCreesh confirmed a letter had been sent on August 6 requesting a meeting with both the BMA and the RCGP.
He confirmed council would send a follow-up addendum alerting both organisations to council’s intention to add this item to the agenda.