Press Release

Minister Harney welcomes launch of cross-border General Practitioner Out-of-Hours Service for Castleblayney / South Armagh Area.

Mary Harney T.D., Minister for Health and Children, has welcomed the launch of a new cross-border General Practitioner Out-of-Hours Service, which will commence next Monday, 26th November. This will be the first time people living in a border area of Northern Ireland will be able to access urgent GP Out-of-Hours services in the Republic of Ireland.

The new service, which is being set up on a pilot basis, enables people living in the South Armagh border areas who require a GP outside normal practice hours to attend a GP in the NEDOC Out-of-Hours centre in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan.

The Minister expressed congratulations to all involved in bringing the new service into operation and said

“This is the second pilot project of its kind following the establishment of the cross-border GP out-of-hours service which commenced in January of this year, where patients in parts of Inishowen, Co. Donegal have the choice of availing of urgent GP out-of-hours services in Derry City. I am confident that patients in South Armagh will now benefit from being able to avail of urgent out-of-hours services across the border in Castleblayney, which will in many cases provide easier access to treatment closer to their homes. An evaluation of the two projects will in due course inform decisions on any expansion or modification of the services”.

The development of this service has been led by CAWT (Co-operation and Working Together) and has involved consultation with general practitioners and health service officials in both jurisdictions, including the GPs of the NEDOC service and the Southern Area Urgent Care service, the Health Service Executive, the Southern Health and Social Services Board, the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, the Department of Health and Children and the Department of Health, Social Services & Public Safety in Northern Ireland.