THE absence of a permanent nurse on Bere Island off Castletownbere was raised in the Dáil recently.
Ind Deputy Michael Collins said the island has over 200 permanent residents and is visited by many more holidaymakers.
‘A permanent, registered HSE general nurse has been working on the island, but in recent times this nurse has been taken from the island to the mainland on various days to cover planned and unplanned leave by colleagues,’ he said.
‘This leaves many on the island without a service. This is a very worrying time for the residents who fear that this is the beginning of a withdrawal of the service,’ the deputy said.
‘Will the Tánaiste assure the people of Bere Island that this will not happen?’ he asked.
In response, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he knows Bere Island very well as he travels there every summer.
‘The Government has invested heavily on the island, including in water and electricity infrastructure and a new pier,’ said the Tánaiste.
‘Millions of euro have been spent because we appreciate and recognise the role of island communities off West Cork, as well as other island communities off the west and north west coasts.
‘If there are issues with healthcare service provision on the island, I would like to hear more about them and can assure the Deputy that the Government will deal with them.’