THERE are concerns the new Lisnaskea health centre could be “out of date by the time it gets built”, due to the long delay in the project being started.
In a letter to the local Council last week permanent secretary at the Department of Health, Peter May, said the new £20 million 3,500sq metre centre, which will be located on the site of the old high school in the town, was currently in the advanced planning stages.
Mr May said it was hoped construction on the much-needed new centre was expected to begin in early 2024, and it is anticipated it will be open and operational by early 2026.
“The focus of the project is on improving accessibility, service delivery, and increased multi-disciplinary working within south east Fermanagh hand it will bring GP, Trust community and older peoples day care centre services together under one roof,” said Mr May.
“It will also address current spatial issues and enable increased provision of services in Lisnaskea such as podiatry, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, mental health services and older peoples’ services.”
While progress on the project has been welcomed, the delay in work starting did not impress local councillors at the Council’s recent policy and resources meeting.
“We’re welcoming the new health centre for quite a while now, and I suppose we’ll only really be happy when we see the first digger in on site actually planning it out,” said Cllr Victor Warrington, who said the project had been “dragging on and on.”
Pointing to the chronic shortage of GPs across Fermanagh, Cllr Eamon Keenan said, “The worry is, will there be doctors to work in it?”
Cllr Paul Robinson said, “By that time it could be out of date by the time it gets built. It will not be as modern then as it would be now.
“This is the problem with some of this with government departments. By the time they get the building built they are out of date, it takes them that long getting anything done.”
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