HSE confirms that Athlone MIDOC "is not affected" by closure of Midlands service
The HSE has confirmed that the MIDOC Out of Hours Service in Athlone is a separate entity and "is not affected" by the shock announcement earlier this week that the service is due to close on January 1.
In a statement issued to the Westmeath Independent today (Thursday) by the HSE, they clarified that the MIDOC GP CLG covers Tullamore, Portlaoise, Longford and Mullingar. "Athlone GP Out of Hours (OHH) is a separate entity and is not affected."
The latest statement follows on from an original statement issued by the HSE over Christmas which stated that the HSE Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare had been engaging with the MIDOC GP Out of Hours Service for a number of months on the financial difficulties facing the service.
"The HSE is disappointed that MIDOC has made the decision to cease trading for an indefinite period, effective midnight from 31 December 2022 when we were looking for a sustainable model going forward" said the original statement.
In the interim period, the HSE has put cover in place, through a third party agency, to provide "appropriate cover" until January 15, 2023 while the HSE works towards sourcing an alternative provider.
The full text of the HSE statement issued today reads as follows:
"The Midoc Out of Hours Service is a HSE run service from HSE premises - MIDOC GP CLG covers Tullamore, Portlaoise, Longford and Mullingar. Athlone GP Out of Hours (OHH) is a separate entity and is not affected. As outlined in our press statement 23 December 2023, the HSE has engaged a 3rd party agency (that has already been providing medical support to MIDOC GP CLG) to provide appropriate cover for until 15 January 2023 based on normal and scheduled GPOOH practice and rosters while the HSE confirms an alternative provider. This means that as of 01 January 2023, patients call the same number and attend whichever of the existing treatment centres they are directed to attend, if required. The HSE will provide ongoing updates as we support the GPs and members of the public due to the untimely departure of MIDOC GP CLG.