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February 2016
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Car Passenger Killed Near Roscrea Tipperary

GardaIt is with regret we report that the male passenger of a motor vehicle lost his life overnight in a two-car collision here in Co. Tipperary.

The accident is understood to have occurred at Tullaskeagh, close to Roscrea at around 7.30pm yesterday.

The man, who was aged 37, suffered serious injuries when the vehicle in which he was travelling was in a collision with a second car.

The victim was rushed to University Hospital Limerick where he was pronounced dead. A post mortem is expected to take place.

The driver of the car, who is understood to be in his early 70’s, and three occupants of a second car, all male, were also taken to University Hospital Limerick. It is understood that the latter suffered no known serious injury.

The R445 West bound carriageway, (the old N7) was closed at the Knock Road junction, Tullaskeagh to assist inspection by the Garda Forensic Collision Investigation team and diversions were put in place.

Nenagh Gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact Nenagh Garda Station on Tel: 067 50450; the Garda Confidential Line on Tel: 1800 666111 or indeed any Garda Station.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

Warning To Those Entitled To Free Over 70’s GP Care

It was Labour Party TD & Minister Kathleen Lynch, who announced details of the long awaited ‘Over 70’s Scheme’ on Friday July 31st, 2015, at a cost to the taxpayer of an estimated €18 million a year. Minister Lynch you will remember holds special responsibility for Primary Care, Social Care (Disabilities & Older People).


What is NOT included under free over 70’s GP Care

This ‘Over 70’s Scheme’ as it is known, provides for free GP care to all persons aged 70 years and over; who do not have a Medical Card or GP Visit card, regardless of income and who ordinarily resident in the Irish State.

On Monday last a medical card carrying lady aged in her 74th year who was a former Cancer sufferer, attended her local physician here in Thurles. On the previous advice of her doctor she was attending simply to have her annual blood test.

Imagine her surprise, when leaving, to be confronted with an unexpected bill of €20.00 to cover the costs associated with her blood test.  Imagine then being asked that since it was Monday, no blood samples would be collected locally, and could she deliver the blood sample personally to the local Health Centre herself.

From checks made by us, we discover that in fact ‘Blood Tests’ are not free under the 70’s and over supposedly free scheme’.

God be with the days back in the Autumn of 2008 when, following a Fianna Fáil led Government Budget, Jackie Healy-Rae (RIP) and Local Deputy Michael Lowry, both then supporting Fianna Fáil in Government as Independent TD’s, threatened to overthrow the same government, when F.F. attempted to introduce ‘Means Testing’ for Old Age Pensioners, thus cancelling their right to hold a Medical Card.

CT Scanner Issues In South Tipp Hospital Highlighted

South Tipp General Hospital

South Tipperary General Hospital

A current CT scanner over 16 years old and presently installed at South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary has malfunctioned yet again.

The immediate consequences of this 10 day old malfunction is that Tipperary hospital patients are now being transported to other hospitals in the region, to undergo urgent and necessary CT Scans.

This bizarre and illogical issue, which Deputy Michael Lowry TD highlighted on radio today, becomes even more ludicrous when it was revealed that there already exists a brand new CT scanner, still stored in its original packaging, waiting to be installed at the South Tipperary facility for almost 3 years.

While it is understood that works are under-way to install this new CT scanner, Deputy Lowry has been informed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) that it will be towards the end of 2016 before same is made available for regional patients use.

As a result of the old CT scanner breaking down Hospital staff are now obliged to transport urgent patients to hospitals outside the county, to we understand, hospitals in Waterford, some 52 min or 47.1km or 30 mls away and to Limerick, some 1h-24 min or 82.6km or 51mls distance, depending on CT scanner availability.

This existing and seemingly incompetent state of affairs is now causing unnecessary inconvenience to not just seriously ill patients, but to the ambulance service and overworked hospital staff, while also costing an already underfunded HSE, unnecessary extra expense.

Meanwhile a planned two-hour work stoppage by members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) will now go ahead next week.

These stoppages are due to take place on Thursday January 14th at Beaumont Hospital, Tallaght Hospital, University College Hospital Galway, Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, Cork’s Mercy University Hospital, Cavan General Hospital and University Hospital Waterford.

HSE Reinstates Rural Practice Allowance For GP’s.

lowryDeputy Michael Lowry TD further confirmed today that the Health Service Executive (HSE) has fully reinstated the Rural Practice Allowance Support Package, in their bid to fill a rural General Practioner (GP) post in Bansha, Co. Tipperary. This is despite the fact that the post was originally advertised without same, just last Autumn.

Locals had been extremely concerned that the village and its surrounding towns-lands would be left without an essential GP care service, once the present holder of that office had retired.

Fears for the community were fully realised in December when no applications, whatsoever, had been received after the position was advertised back last September (2015) without this annual allowance, which for rural GP’s can amount to €16,000, plus payments to cover the cost of a secretary and a nurse.

Local residents stated today that they were both “surprised, delighted and greatly relieved”  that this post had been once again re-advertised to include this new offer of better GP conditions.

Lowry had strongly argued that GP practices in rural areas, like Bansha in Co.Tipperary, were not wholly viable without offering the previously acknowledged Rural Practice Allowance Support Package.

“We need to send a message to our present Government, that shutting down this type of service makes for absolutely no sense from a rural perspective”, stated Lowry.

Meanwhile the National Association of General Practitioners have set up a “No Doctor No Village” campaign, following on from the recent success of the public crusade begun in Bansha, Co. Tipperary.

Lowry Confirms Incentive Package For Bansha GP Vacancy

lowryDeputy Michael Lowry has today confirmed the reinstatement of a Rural Practice Allowance Support Package for a General Practitioner (GP) vacancy, which is currently available in Bansha, Co. Tipperary.

The community of the small village of Bansha and those residing in the surrounding hinterland recently converged on their local GAA hall in large numbers, on November 27th last, to register their protest and to express serious concerns over replacement services, due to the imminent departure of their current local GP.

The reason for lack of interest by GP’s in applying for a previously advertised replacement post was the removal of a ‘Rural Practice Allowance’ by the former TD and Health Minister, Mr James O’Reilly.  This Rural Practice Allowance was, prior to the ascendency of the present government, always paid to offset the high costs incurred by GP’s in attempting to run a rural surgery situated outside of larger more populated urban areas.

As Deputy Lowry had predicted, over the past week the Health Service Executive (HSE) have now agreed to the restoration of this Rural Practice Financial Incentive, in respect of this GP vacancy.

“The welcome restoration of this Rural Practice Allowance will now allow for this post to be re-advertised and I am confident it will attract a suitable number of new applications,”  stated Deputy Lowry.

“The local Action Committee, lead by Mr Andrew O’Halloran and the Bansha community are to be fully complimented on taking the initiative in highlighting this issue. Through their resilience and determination they have succeeded in receiving a most positive outcome regarding this Rural Practice Allowance problem,” continued Deputy Lowry.

The local Bansha Action Committee are now expected to meet on Monday evening next, December 21st, with officials from the HSE, to further discuss the implementation of this now welcomed decision affecting this rural locality.

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