NEDOC’s Navan treatment centre, a portacabin put in place 18 years ago, has visible mould on surfaces and holes in its structure but is still being used by GPs and patients.
According to Ms Arlene Fitzsimons, Operations Manager at NEDOC, if no solution is found before winter, the centre will be forced to close.
“I can’t see how we can go through winter there. It is simply not fit. The water freezes there during the winter,” Ms Fitzsimons told the <strong><em>Medical Independent</em></strong> (<strong><em>MI</em></strong>).
Last year, a modular building was due to be put in place at the site of the current treatment centre on the grounds of Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, but the plan did not go ahead as the proposal was deemed too costly.
Then, in October, GP members at the NEDOC AGM were informed that the HSE planned to move the centre to the outpatients department (OPD) at Our Lady’s Hospital by the end of November.
But this did not transpire, as works were required to facilitate the move. It was also felt that locating the busy OPD and treatment centre in close proximity would lead to an over-run.
Alternative solutions are now being sought and Ms Fitzsimons is hopeful a resolution can be reached.
“We are working with the HSE on a solution and I would hope a solution can be found sooner rather than later,” she said.
“We have 20,000 patients in Navan every year. It is one of our busiest centres and we have high winter volumes.”
She added that the lack of a solution to date “doesn’t show respect to the service itself, patients and people working in it”.
According to plans, the proposed primary care centre (PCC) in Navan is due to house the NEDOC treatment centre, but the PCC will not be completed until 2022.