Writes JJ Hurley
There are growing calls for returning the out-of-hours doctor service (South Doc) to Kinsale as a matter of urgency. Initially, Kinsale lost its service in 2014 due to a rationalisation programme, forcing the town's residents to travel to either Bandon or the late-night surgery at Kinsale road.
A recent post on a local social media page on the subject attracted numerous comments, with one poster stating, “Bring back South Doc to Kinsale. It is dreadful having to drive beyond Bandon in the winter nights in the case of an emergency, as I have had to and then drive to CUH, waiting hours and returning home to Kinsale at 4 am exhausted. Shame to be without this essential service.”
A genuine concern for many is the drive to Bandon on winter nights. The road is subject to hazardous weather conditions, often compounded with patients driving to the city to obtain prescriptions in the late-night pharmacies.
Anyone without transport has to face the additional cost of a taxi, with the average price of a cab to Bandon between €39 to €54 or a trip to the South Doc facility at Kinsale Road will set you back between €42 and €57, (figures based on the Transport Ireland webpage).
Adding his concern to the issue, the Fianna Fail Deputy for the constituency Christopher O'Sullivan TD, said, “I have contacted the Minister for Health and the HSE to urge them to consider reopening Kinsale South Doc. This would be an important and much-needed facility for the community.”
Adding his weight to the efforts on returning the service to the busy town, Senator Tim Lombard said, 'Appropriate proximity to vital health services is a necessity for the Kinsale community.
'Today, I have again written appeals to both the Minister for Health and the HSE Primary Care Department, calling for the reinstatement of the Kinsale SouthDoc.'
'We must recognise the current and future needs of the Kinsale community and provide the necessary infrastructure to service this vast urban, rural, and tourist population. A SouthDoc service in Kinsale is one such necessity.'