HSE Cuts are depriving patients of vital Physiotherapy Services In Youghal

By Seamus Whelehan

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There are growing fears people living in Youghal and surrounding areas are missing out on vital rehabilitation, to get back on their feet, because the community hospital’s physiotherapist is not being replaced.
Last Friday (6 April) the physiotherapist who has provided an outreach programme to the community retired after 18 years.
As a result the elderly and people with chronic illnesses are facing fewer sessions and longer waiting times due to cost cutting measure by the Health Service Executive.
Non-replacement of the fully funded service has led to the loss of the physiotherapy outpatient service, home visits, and inpatient services to Youghal community hospital, Cois Abhainn and St Rapheal’s hospital.
Cllr Mary Linehan Foley who requested the suspension of standing orders at Tuesday’s sitting on the East Cork Municipality said the move was counterproductive “a retrograde step contrary to HSE policy of caring for people within their own primary care area.”
Areas affected by the closure of the service are Cloyne, Shanagarry, Ballymacoda, Ladysbridge, Castlemartyr, Mogeely, Mountuniack, Youghal town and hinterland.
Currently patients with a chronic illness are facing waits of up to 4 months to access services in Midleton.
Independent Cllr Noel Collins said “the physiotherapist service must continue and comply with government policy to protect the weakest and most vulnerable of society.”
Municipality Chairwoman Susan McCarthy said she found the situation “unbelievable”.
She said “for the amount of money it would cost not to have a physiotherapist in situ in Youghal, for the cost saving it would do, the hardship it would cause is beyond proportion.”
Both Cllrs Mary Linehan Foley and Susan McCarty are to raise the issue at today’s HSE South Forum.

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