HSE claims eye clinic does not face closure

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The HSE denied this week, local claims that the eye clinic in Longford town is under threat of closure as backlogs continue within the system.

The HSE denied this week, local claims that the eye clinic in Longford town is under threat of closure as backlogs continue within the system.

Concerns were raised over extending waiting lists and a backlog of patients that does not appear to be alleviating. It also emerged last Friday that the ophthalmologist, who has been on maternity leave since last year, was not returning to her post in Longford, and that no replacement was forthcoming. A source close to the Leader said, “There was no replacement when the ophthalmologist went on maternity leave last year and since then, the backlog of people waiting for appointments has become chronic; a very large number of people are being inconvenienced by this”.

In a statement to the Leader, the HSE said that it was in the process of appointing a new ophthalmology to the now, vacant position in Co Longford. “The HSE only received notification of Dr Murphy’s intentions to leave the post [in Longford] last week,” the statement read. “The HSE will now begin a process to find a replacement and immediately look at alternative arrangements in an effort to maintain service provision.”

Meanwhile Cllr Peggy Nolan (FG) said there were patients waiting “years” for appointments, and the current situation was “unacceptable”. “I don’t want the HSE to cut this service in Longford,” she said.