Westport was left without a doctor on one of the busiest days of the year according to local councillor, John O’Malley. Reek Sunday, July 25, is always an exceptionally busy day in the town and surrounding area, and to be without doctor was ‘nothing short of disgraceful’, according to the Independent politician.
“As we know, Westdoc is the system used at weekends and I haven’t had any problems with it before but on this occasion I had a personal experience of the service and it wasn’t good.
“It was Reek Sunday and also the day of the Connacht final. I rang Westdoc at 9.45am and was told by a nurse that no doctor was available at the time in Westport, but one would call me back with advice as soon as possible. I waited and waited but didn’t get the call from the doctor until the Connacht final was over later that afternoon.
“That’s a long time to wait for contact from a doctor, and I can’t understand how there was no service on such a busy day, or any day for that matter. In fairness to the nurse, she told me there was a doctor available in Castlebar if I wanted to go over, but if I went that far, I was as well to go to the hospital.
“Is this why we’re having such a build-up in A&E Departments? Not being able to get access to a doctor will lead more and more people to attend the hospital for things that could be dealt with quite easily if people could get to a doctor, but leaving Westport without cover is a disgrace,” added Cllr O’Malley.
The Westdoc service were contacted for a reply but none was received at the time of going to press.