Highly controversial plans by GP’s to move the vital night time ‘NowDoc’ service from Carndonagh to Letterkenny have been rejected. The plan, which caused outrage locally, would have seen most of Inishowen without emergency medical cover between 11pm and 8am.
Speaking to the Journal yesterday, Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn said he had received confirmation from the HSE that they have rejected the proposal of GPs to remove the NowDoc ‘red-eye services’ from Carn. He described the decision as a “victory for people power and plain commonsense”.
The Sinn Fein TD said: “I welcome the decision of the HSE to maintain the current level of NowDoc services in Donegal. This service is vital to ensure an adequate level of access to emergency care for communities in rural Donegal.
“Myself and my colleague, Pearse Doherty, have consistently highlighted the need for the NowDoc service to remain in situ and had organised public meetings in Carndonagh and Gweedore to highlight this issue, which, in light of today’s decision, will not proceed.
“We commend the public in their active campaign to retain the service - a citizen’s initiative in west Donegal gathered thousands of signatures from the community- which, combined with pressure from trade unions and public representatives, we feel was instrumental in the decision made by the HSE.
“The HSE have clearly recognised that this service is fundamental and they were fully aware of our view that any attempts to reduce it would be met with strong opposition.
“We call on the HSE to provide clarification in relation to their future plans for the NowDoc service and for a commitment from HSE Management that no attempts will be made to erode the level of service currently provided.”