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Galway West

GPs offered a fortune to work abroad

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Senator Fidelma Healy Eames

The shortage of rural GPs is only exacerbated by the reality that Irish doctors are being offered upwards of €300,000 a year to work abroad.

That’s according to Galway West General Election Independent candidate Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, who claimed that Fine Gael’s pledge to increase the number of doctors in the country should ‘not be taken too seriously’.

‘This Government has allowed a GP shortage crisis to develop. Rural GPs can’t cope – look at Clifden and North Connemara – and so many of our young GPs are being enticed abroad by very exciting offers.

“Campaigning in Moycullen last evening, I learned about a young GP being offered the equivalent of €300,000 per year plus an extra €100,000 of a bonus after five years working in Canada. This is not a rare story. How can Ireland compete with offers like this!” she said.

“GPs are the backbone of local primary care centre – how will we ever realise that rollout if we don’t have the GPs?  Ireland is fast losing the battle because of the deafness of this Government and the Minister for Health and his Department since 2011.

“I am raging to think as a nation that we have let a situation like this develop. Local primary care centre are the only answer to the A&E trolleys’ epidemic.

“Incompetence is at the core of this serious blunder,” said the Senator.

The Oranmore-based public rep claimed that the promises made on GP care in Fine Gael’s election literature were already reneged on in the past.

“What really shocked me about that story is this same promise was also included in the 2011 Programme for Government but that promise seems to have died there like many others.”

“I must assume that the leaflet had already gone to press and the printing and distribution could not be stopped before it was reported last Sunday that not one single new GP training position has been created in the past five years despite a well signalled developing crises in the shortage of GPs,” she said.

 

Connacht Tribune

TALLIES: Half of boxes open in City West

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Galway West

Left and right find middle ground

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Deputy Catherine Connolly being interviewed at Leinster House.

There is a tired old cliché about people singing from ‘the same hymn sheet’ – but despite their diverse political backgrounds, it could certainly be applied in the case of Galway city’s two new TDs.

Because Fine Gael’s Deputy Hildegarde Naughten and independent TD Catherine Connolly hold common ground when it comes to a lot of issues relating to Galway city.

For example, in the aftermath of the general election they both agreed that University Hospital Galway should be moved to a greenfield site at Merlin Park. They also articulated this view on the first day of the new Dail last week.

And, separately, they were both in favour of the provision of dedicated bus lanes throughout Galway city with the acceptance that there will be no outer bypass for at least another decade. Deputy Connolly believes that the current proposal is simply “a cul-de-sac” and should never have been progressed.

Left-leaning Independent TD Catherine Connolly and right-leaning Fine Gael TD, Hildegarde Naughton, both believe UHG is at saturation point and are committed to the development of a new public hospital at the larger, more accessible site east of the city.

This, along with the promotion of public transport initiatives to help end traffic chaos in the city, is one of the common policy objectives the two new women TDs share.

They are only the second and third women TDs ever in Galway West, following in the footsteps of former Fianna Fáil minister, Máire Geoghegan Quinn.

 

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Galway West

Fianna Fail attempts to woo Grealish again

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Deputy Noel Grealish looking pensive at the start of the new Dail.

Pressure is mounting on Galway West TD Noel Grealish to join Fianna Fail as the party attempts to be part of the next government.

The Fianna Fail organisation in the constituency are now convinced that Grealish may provide the party with the answer to winning a second seat in Galway West. And the organisation are disappointed that veteran TD Eamon O Cuiv has not delivered a second seat in the last two general elections.  If Fianna Fail assume power, it is very unlikely that the Cornamona man will have a place at the front bench.

The party organisation in Galway West are now anxious that Grealish becomes part of their fabric and particularly as he is a proven vote-winner.

Grealish is part of an unofficial grouping in the Dail who are currently engaged with the two major parties with a view to forming a minority government.

The fact that the Carnmore man has been a TD since 2002, it is likely that he could be part of the front bench in the next government if he agrees to become part of the support that Fianna Fail require.

It was revealed last week that he had been approached by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin to join up but he was not to be drawn on the issue.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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