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Oranmore Primary Care Centre goes back to the drawing board

The Health Service Executive will ‘go back to the drawing’ board on plans to build a primary care centre in Oranmore – after five years of effort failed to progress the project.

Tony Canavan, Regional Executive Officer HSE West and Northwest, admitted it was now likely the HSE would have to start the process all over again after efforts to secure a deal with a local landowner have not materialised.

Mr Canavan said one last effort was being made to get the current proposal over the line, but he conceded it appeared likely they would have to start again.

He was responding to criticism from Galway County Councillor Liam Carroll at the latest HSE West Regional Health Forum.

Cllr Carroll said he had been inundated with queries for updates on the proposals since reports of the last Forum meeting appeared in the Connacht Tribune and Galway Bay fm.

Oranmore was one of the fastest growing towns in County Galway and Ireland and had a catchment of over 20,000.

All GPs in Oranmore are full, he said, and there was waiting lists. One GP agreed to take on an elderly patient who could not find an alternative, ‘as a favour to me’, said Councillor Carroll who had been lobbied about the case by a family member of the patient.

Cllr Carroll said he had raised the issue of a Oranmore PCC for five years on the current Forum.

He criticised Joe Hoare, Assistant National Director of HSE Capital and Estates for once again not attending the meeting to respond to follow up queries.

Cllr Carroll said Mr Hoare was “treating this Forum with absolute disdain”.

In his written response to the meeting, Mr Hoare said a formal letter will issue to the landowner after Easter.

“If the current proposal does not then proceed in line with the advised deadlines the HSE will deem that the terms are rescinded and will proceed with alternative options. If the HSE, as is likely, re-advertises the location again it will be open to developers to put forward any sites they deem appropriate and such proposals will be then evaluated in accordance with the award criteria,” he said.

That may require planning permission on alternative sites, and there was “uncertainty surrounding the ultimate solution” and timelines.

Cllr Carroll said the reply suggested it was back to square one after five years of no progress.

Mr Canavan said it would be prudent to re-advertise, although one last chance was being given to get the existing proposal over the line.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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