Petition Calls for Castlemartyr Health Centre To Remain Open

By Seamus Whelehan

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The Castlemartyr Family Carers and Disability group have launched a petition to prevent the pending closure of the Castlemartyr Health Centre
The petition to keep services at Castlemartyr Health Centre will be in the Centra lobby Castlemartyr tomorrow Friday (6 September) and Saturday (7 September) from 11:00am – 1:00pm.
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David Maddox, co-founder of the group, said he hopes that any possible closure would not represent “an act of wilful neglect towards the most vulnerable in our community.”
The HSE last week confirmed to the East Cork Journal that Public Health Nursing Services at the Village Health Care facility would be migrated to their unit located on the grounds of Midleton Hospital, 6 miles away.
The Castlemartyr Health hub was granted permission in January 2019 to carry out a single story extension, including the remodelling of the interior and installation of a ramp at the entrance, but the Health Service Executive said “when the cost of refurbishment was investigated they shelved the project as it emerged that the costs involved would be prohibitive and did not represent “a prudent use of public funds”
A spokesperson for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare said that, despite the decision not to proceed with the project, “Public Health Nurses will continue to make the same home visits in the area.”
They said “Public Health Nursing Services will be delivered from the recently refurbished facility on the grounds of Midleton Community Hospital, which is less than six miles away.”
Disability Rights campaigner, Liz Maddox said if the Castlemartyr service is to close, it would have a devastating impact on the low income families in the area, people with a disability, and the elderly.
Ms Maddox specifically cites excessive travel times and costs, with it taking up an hour to travel by bus to the Midleton facility, 6 miles away.
She said “it would not be reasonable to expect people to travel to Midleton Hospital, especially when so many struggle to make ends meet.”
“We have a very aged population and no wheelchair accessible bus service. By closing the facility it would deny vital healthcare services for people with no support mechanism in place” said Ms Maddox.
The East Cork Journal has asked the Health Service Executive to confirm if the Castlemartyr facility will be closed, but no response was forthcoming prior to going to print.

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