Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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17. To ask the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to provide chiropody services for public patients in an area (details supplied). [17038/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the Health Service Executive, in its National Service Plan 2022, has committed to providing podiatry services to 85,866 patients in 2022. That is almost double the number of patients seen in 2021 (44,522).

I am aware that there is currently no Podiatrist working in West Cork, despite a national campaign to fill the post. Cork Kerry Community Healthcare is redirecting a Podiatrist from another area to see patients. Those who are most urgent on the waiting list are being seen first. There are 297 people on the waiting list in west Cork. The longest waiting time is 49 weeks, and the reassigned Podiatrist has started to address this. When all high-risk patients are seen and space in the schedule becomes available, moderate risk patients will be offered scheduled appointments. Podiatry services are offered in Kinsale and Carrigaline.

A new Primary Care Centre will open in Bandon in the coming months. St. Mary’s Primary Care Centre, Gurranabraher, are providing services to Community Healthcare Network 11.

Regretfully there are several podiatry vacancies across Cork and Kerry. There are 14.6 podiatry vacancies of the 24.5 allocated whole-time equivalent podiatry posts. These are all new development posts, assigned within the last 18 months. There is a national recruitment campaign underway to fill these posts. Cork Kerry Community Healthcare intend to run a local recruitment campaign to attract eligible candidates. It is anticipated that these campaigns should fill any posts remaining unfilled.


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