Seamus McDonagh

Seamus McDonagh

The HSE’s new primary care centre in Kells has come under renewed criticism, for putting private profits ahead of the welfare of patients. This is according to Workers’ Party spokesperson in Meath, Séamus McDonagh:

McDonagh said on the matter:
“I have previously drawn attention to the totally inappropriate location of the new primary care centre in Kells. Where the old centre was located in the centre of the town, it was relocated to the outskirts of town, with totally inadequate public transport, and on roads which are treacherous for prams, those with disabilities and other pedestrians. There isn’t even a bus stop at the centre.

“This site was selected in spite of the fact that the HSE owns a building which, with investment to break it up to modern standards, could well have been transformed into a modern, fit-for-purpose primary care centre.”

McDonagh continued:
“However, the HSE chose to locate the centre on a privately-owned site and, by using a Public-Private Partnership to deliver it, ensured the owner of the site would make substantial money out of the rent of the premises to the HSE. This makes no financial sense for the taxpayer whatsoever.

“Now, we have a situation where the carpark located adjacent to the centre, and owned by the same person who owns the centre itself, is charging €2 to everyone who uses it. Given the centre is located in a place which is almost inaccessible without a car, this is pure extortion.”

McDonagh concluded:
“None of this is surprising. The way that the primary care centre in Kells has been developed from day one, copperfastens private profits for the owner of the centre and the adjacent carpark, paid for through taxpayer’s money via the HSE, and now, it seems, through carpark fees also.

“The last thing patients need is a €2 fee for carparking, when they have no choice but to drive to a badly-located centre. The footpath is so limited and poor that we are just waiting for an accident to happen. I am calling on the HSE to intervene and eliminate car parking fees at the primary care centre in Kells.”