The Summerhill Primary Care Centre (PCC) was officially opened by Health Minister, Simon Harris and Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe.
Minister Harris said “The opening of Summerhill Primary Care Centre, the largest one in Ireland, demonstrates that the move toward primary and community care envisioned by Sláintecare is becoming a reality. Our core objective is to shift the majority of care to the community setting, and this will help us reduce waiting lists and waiting times and ultimately meet our goal of improving population health.”
“Primary Care Centres have a key role to play in delivering on our vision of a reformed health service and are designed to deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right time.”
Minister Donohoe said, ‘The provision of community care at this location, including dentistry, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and social work services, is having a significant impact on the people of Summerhill and the surrounding area, because people are able to have their healthcare needs met closer to home’.
“The Government is committed to continued investment in the development of primary care infrastructure across the country, with further centres either being developed or in planning stages. This is guided by a recognition that that the best health outcomes can be achieved by reorienting our health services towards primary and community care settings where people’s needs can, for the most part, be met locally, with high quality acute and emergency care provided in the appropriate acute hospital settings.”
The Department said there were now 127 operational PCCs around the country, and a further 12 were scheduled to be completed or become operational by the end of the year.
“Beyond this, there is a pipeline of more than 70 PCC projects that are under construction, in development or are at the planning stage. The delivery of these centres in the years ahead will support other reforms identified as part of the Sláintecare plan to bring health services closer to home.
“The Ministers also highlighted the expansion of services that is taking place within primary care, noting that more than €50m has been provided in additional funding in 2019 to boost capacity in the sector, including the recruitment of additional therapy staff and nurses, alongside further service development.
The Ministers pledged that there would be continued investment in both the development of primary care infrastructure and services in the months and years ahead.