Lisnaskea GP services without risk assessment

IT HAS emerged the Department of Health took a decision to slash local GP elective services without carrying out an assessment of the impact the cuts would have.
The local Council had previously written to the Department asking if such a Rural Impact Assessment had been carried out specifically in respect of the loss of dedicated women services in Lisnaskea through cuts to GP elective care, but the response from Permanent Secretary Peter May did not answer this.
Instead, while recognising the value of primary care elective services, he said: “Regrettably, the Department is facing a significant funding gap and budgetary pressures are impacting on the delivery of many health and social care services.
“In the face of these funding constraints, and in the absence of recurrent funding, options to sustain these services had to be developed and assessed.”
He continued, “Unfortunately, it has not been possible to continue the additional levels of services in 2023/24 due to the increasingly difficult financial position, including the services relating to women’s health across all of Northern Ireland.
“Despite a reduction in the Primary Care service, GPs will still be able to refer patients to Secondary Care, however it is recognised that hospital-based service waiting times are long.”

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