Government will not fund Rathdrum primary care centre
By Nevan Riley
Rathdrum's new primary care centre will not be built using funding from the Government's five-year capital plan, despite the fact the town featured in former minister of state Roisin Shortall's original list of high-priority areas. The care centre will instead be developed through a public-private partnership with a developer.
According to The Irish Times, eight locations were selected for the development of care centres through direct capital funding from the State. These locations included Rathdrum, Dungloe in Co Donegal, and Ballymote in Co Sligo, Knocknaheeny in Cork, and Finglas South, Coolock South, Grangegorman and Corduff in Dublin. All eight locations were considered high-priority due to urban or rural deprivation.
Rathdrum, Coolock South, Dungloe and Ballymote were then axed from this list and replaced with four towns that were ranked low priority in an overall list drawn up by the HSE.
Monaghan town (ranked 28), Sligo town (ranked 126), and Ballinamore and Manorhamilton in Co Leitrim (ranked 92 and 168 respectively), replaced the four high-priority towns on the list of eight.
The Government is providing €44mn in funding to build care centres over the next five years, with other centres to be provided through public-private partnerships or lease arrangements.
Meanwhile, Minister for Health Dr James Reilly has come under renewed fire after it was revealed by the Irish Independent that Fine Gael supporter and troubled property developer Seamus Murphy owns the site in the minister’s constituency where a proposed new care centre is to be built. It was also revealed by the Irish Independent that the site was used by Dr Reilly as a campaign base during the general election.
Fianna Fail health spokesman Billy Kelleher has called on the minister to step down. "The Taoiseach needs to have a serious conversation with the minister. He needs to ask him to step aside," Mr Kelleher said. “There are very serious questions to be answered here.”