Surgery denies village patients turned away

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Claims that Waringstown patients are being treated as ‘second-class citizens’ at Donaghcloney surgery have been refuted.

The allegations were brought to light by Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson, acting on behalf of one of her constituents who claims she was turned away from the surgery recently and was told that ‘the Waringstown quota has been filled.’

Commenting Mrs Dobson said: “This is tantamount to a post code lottery of healthcare. Urgent action is needed to resolve this mess. Waringstown residents have waited long enough and it is no longer acceptable that they continue to be treated as second-class citizens when it comes to accessing a GP.”

As well as contacting the ‘MAIL’ Mrs Dobson has also arranged a meeting with Dr Sloan Harper, Director of Integrated Care with the Board about the issue.

The MLA said: “To hear patients are being turned away from Donaghcloney Surgery because of where they live brings home the very real consequences of this ‘temporary closure’ which, if left unresolved could have serious long-term consequences for the health of local people.

“Waringstown residents have been denied access to their local surgery since August 24 last year when a ‘temporary closure’ was announced. I do welcome the fact that the Health and Social Care Board have confirmed to me that a public consultation will take place.

“When I meet with the board I will again be urging them and the doctors to work together to reach a solution as a matter of urgency.”

According to the Health and Social Care Board, Donaghcloney GPs, Doctors Lennon and Hunter, are gravely concerned about the allegation suggested.

A spokesperson said: “The surgery states quite categorically that they have never turned a patient away during any drop in clinic session.

“Details of any allegation to the contrary should be submitted for full investigation to either the surgery directly or the board.”