WITH a chronic shortage of general practitioners already causing serious difficulties in the local area, the crisis is set to deepen in the year ahead with more resignations and retirements on the horizon.
The latest doctor preparing to hang up his GP coat is Dr Declan Morgan from the Dromore and Trillick Surgery, who has informed the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) of his intention to resign.
In a letter due to be delivered to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s policy and resources committee tonight (Wednesday, January 19) head of general medical services at the HSCB, Dr Margaret O’Brien, said Dr Morgan had notified the board of his intention to resign on December 31, but would continue to treat patients for the next few months.
“This is regrettable but we wish Dr Morgan well for the future,” said Dr O’Brien. “The practice will be writing to patients this week to inform them of this development.
“In the meantime, I want to assure you that the Health and Social Care Board is currently advertising for a new GP to take over the Dromore and Trillick Surgery contract to ensure continuity of service.
“We are continuing to support the practice and understand the practice will shortly be writing to patients to let them know of the resignation and to provide reassurance.”
Dr O’Brien said Dr Morgan would be continuing to provide GP services until March 31, and patients should continue to contact the practice as usual.
Noting the pressures pre-dated the pandemic, Dr O’Brien also asked for patience and understanding from the public during what she said was “a difficult time for the health and social care service,” with Covid only adding to the challenges.
“You may be aware that GP practices across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK have been under considerable pressure for a number of years and Covid-19 has only added to that,” she said.
“The Dromore and Trillick practice have recently had to deal with staff illness and isolation, which has impacted services an we would ask for patience and understanding for the staff.”
Over the past number of years several local GPs have retired or resigned, and have not been replaced, leaving many people across the county having to travel for GP care.
The Herald understands the situation is set to worsen, with at least two further resignations/retirements from local GP practices on the cards in the months ahead.
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