CLARE Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has been told that the Ennis Primary Healthcare Centre on Station Road will be fully operational before September.

In response to a Dáil question from Deputy Carey last week, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that HSE Estates has advised that the centre is scheduled to become operational during the third quarter of the year.

“The opening of the Station Road centre will be a significant development in the delivery of community-based health services for the people of Ennis and the surrounding area,” Minister Donnelly explained.

“As well as providing a full range of GP, nursing, therapy and dental services, it will also offer specialist nurse led clinics for the treatment of leg ulcers, as well as access to community diagnostics.

“The staff based in Station Road will form part of the new Community Healthcare Network for the area which will help us to develop more integrated care based on the needs of the local population.

“The centre will support the Enhanced Community Care programme in Clare by serving as the base for a Chronic Disease Management team which will provide a county-wide service to individuals with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, COPD and asthma.

“An Integrated Care Programme for Older People team will also be based in the centre. This team will support older people over 75 years of age and those living with frailty to live well at home.

“A total of around 77 staff will be based in the centre and directly involved in the provision of Primary Care Services to local residents.

“The investment in Station Road is a clear example of this Government’s commitment to delivering more comprehensive and accessible primary care services to people across the country in line with the vision of Sláintecare,” Minister Donnelly concluded.

Describing the Centre as the biggest single investment in the Clare public health service for many years, Deputy Carey said that as well as providing top class medical services, it would also help people to care for themselves, particularly those dealing with a long-term illness.

“It will also help to prevent serious illness from occurring in the first place by providing easily accessible health services in the community.

“By allowing patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, stroke and asthma, to be treated near or at their homes, we can save the health service millions of euro by preventing hospital stays,” he added.

CAPTION: Deputy Joe Carey outside the Ennis Primary Health Centre on Station Road