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Health workers moving to Fermanagh may get up to £10k

health care workers

Dr Brendan O’Hare

HEALTHCARE staff relocating to the Western Trust region, may be entitled to up to £10,000 financial assistance.
Answering a question tabled by Richie McPhilips, Health Minister Michelle O’Neill confirmed that doctors and other healthcare staff, can receive funding to help them relocate in ‘some circumstances’. The initiative may help combat the current healthcare crisis that is ongoing in Fermanagh.
Speaking about the issue, SDLP’s Richie McPhilips, has said that the £10,000 incentive is a small step in securing a high standard of healthcare in the Western Trust region.
“A £10,000 incentive is a small step but it is by no means a ‘silver bullet’ solution; it will not deal with the fundamental problems surrounding recruitment nor will it deal with the escalating locum and agency spend within the Western Trust.”
“There needs to be a fundamental change concerning where doctors are trained and how many of them are trained. I would like to see more people from this area trained as doctors, people who are connected to here and want to come back here to live, work and raise a family,” said McPhilips.
 Although, due to the recent turn of events, Richie McPhilips has also addressed concerns that the current political meltdown will have a devastating impact on any moves to increase doctors in the county.
“To fix this problem, we do need political stability and up until now, the Executive has shown none of it. Any work undertaken to increase doctor numbers will be jeopardised and we will be back to square one.”
 Ederney-based GP Dr Brendan O’Hare said he welcomed the initiative but repeats Richie McPhilips’ concerns about the unstable political situation in the North.
“From being in touch with colleagues, they are extremely worried about the future. The disolution of the Assembly has not helped in any way, as the plans that Minister O’Neill has been developing can not be implemented.
“We are facing another period of retirements, including retirements that have been brought forward. One doctor has told me that he has not have  a day off in the last six months, and as a result has brought his retirement date forward.”

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