Community urged to fight closure of doctor’s surgery


Roslea GP surgery closed it’s doors last weekend.

A PUBLIC meeting will be held tomorrow (Thursday) evening at the Roslea Community Centre at 7.30pm following the closure of Roslea doctors surgery. 
The decision made by the Health and Social Care Board saw the rural surgery close last Saturday, meaning patients will be forced to make round trips up to 35 miles to visit a doctor in Lisnaskea.
 From Monday, the Maple Group Practice in Lisnaskea has began providing general medical services to all patients currently registered with Roslea Surgery, Newtownbutler Surgery and Dr Leary’s former practice at Lisnaskea.
Sinn Fein Erne East Councillor, Brian McCaffrey, called for GP services in Roslea and the wider area to be saved: “The community understands that decision makers in the health service face difficult choices and recruitment of GPs in rural areas can be problematic. 
However, in south-east Fermanagh we are not convinced that all the options or a proper recruitment trawl for GPs has been undertaken, nor that all innovative solutions to work share with doctors and health service staff in rural areas have been exhausted.
“We have asked leaders and key decision makers in the health service to discuss and explain the current situation and urge them to work on innovative solutions to save our services and to work constructively and openly with local communities to solve this crisis.”
Dr Sloan Harper, Director of Integrated Care for the Health & Social Care Board will be in attendance to hear the concerns of patients at the public meeting at Roslea Community Centre at 7.30pm on Thursday April 20th.
Sean Lynch MLA urged the public to attend the meeting:  “We must work together to ensure that people in rural areas do not suffer unnecessarily by not being able to access vital services. 
“Together we can devise a credible plan for meeting the challenge and ensuring access to our health services is retained.” 
  Dr Harper will also be attending a meeting with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, at Councillor’s request, at 2pm on the same day at The Grange, Omagh. 


“Local people have been let down”

THE closure of Roslea GP surgery has been slammed as disgraceful by angry locals in the east Fermanagh village. 
Speaking as the surgery shut its doors for the last time on Saturday, Roslea man Damien Harris, whose family has a strong ties with the surgery, said the merging of the “already struggling Lisnaskea surgery” was “a bloody disgrace.” 
“This is my village,” said Mr Harris. “I knew the former doctor personally and knew most precious Doctors there personally too. Some I’m still in contact with. 
“Two generations of my family worked here. Two family members still do. My Granny started working here as a cleaner until a few years before she died. This is a vital service for the people in Roslea. 
“If there’s an accident, the local GP is the first on the scene. Local elderly residents relied on having a doctor close by, often living in the community. Knowing patients well, understanding their conditions and their problems. Being able to spot things that only a doctor who knew the patient well could.  Now patients must travel further and join an already large patient list and potentially wait more than two weeks for an appointment.”
Mr Harris, a former Assembly candidate for Labour NI, added: “This could have been stopped. It should have been stopped. 
“The people of Roslea are angry. They’ve been let down by repeated failures. 
“They placed their trust in politicians that are ringing their hands as our precious health service is collapsing in front of us. They deserve better.”

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