As the Regional Democratic Council’s Regional Health Department forges ahead with an aggressive plan for 2018, the Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr Quincy Jones has promised that there would be an increase in training opportunities for medical personnel within the Region.Region Four Health Officer, Dr Quincy JonesDr Jones said that this was part of the RDC’s vision of further strengthening and improving the effectiveness of medical personnel working at the various health centres throughout Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), thus ensuring that patients seeking various services could be effectively treated.“Since assuming the office of Regional Health Officer, it has been part of my overall vision and mandate to increase training, as with improved and increased training, then there will certainly be an overall improvement in the health care that is given to the general public,” he said.Dr Jones noted that a number of persons continue to seek medical attention at the two premier public hospitals – Georgetown Public Hospital and Diamond hospital – noting that in many circumstances the services they sought were offered by their respective health centres.“You have situations whereby persons go to either GPHC or Diamond hospital for services that they could have received at their health centres and as such, they are forced to wait for long hours because of the immense pressures on the medical personnel at these two hospitals. However, we are seeking to bring our medical personnel at the various health centres up to par and to ensure that they are trained effectively in a number of areas and ways, thus ensuring that they can render some of the services that they [members of the public] are seeking elsewhere,” he said.However, REO Pauline Lucas, in commending Dr Jones for his aggressive plan, said quality and enhanced health care would certainly help in boosting the productivity level of all. He further noted that once patients and residents could access improved health care holistically, the country’s human resources would improve. He added that this could only be possible with the appropriate training of medical personnel.Dr Jones reassured the public that persons seeking services at the various health centres in Region Four could be assured of sustained development and improved results, adding that he continued to meet with all levels of medical personnel operating at the health centres.“It’s no secret that the general public has concerns over the health-care services that they receive from the Government-run institutions, thus resulting in some seeking private services, but I want to assure all that we within the region with the RDC’s support are working towards holistic development,” he declared.REO Lucas, in commenting on the many training opportunities that would be made available to staff with the Regional Health Department, urged those benefiting to be dedicated, committed and, most importantly, disciplined. He said that they must be cognisant of value for money via demonstration of the skills and knowledge that they would gain from all the training programmes.“As the REO, I have and will continue to stress the importance of equal opportunities and to say that my office will continue to support the programmes and mandate of the Regional Health Officer as he continues to enhance and further develop our health sector,” she said.Dr Jones said that while they have already completed several training programmes thus far for the year, there were quite a number of additional training programmes that would be implemented. He also noted that another four doctors have been added to the Region’s health personnel.
Councillor Gary Doherty has described as ‘outrageous’ figures released which show that of the amount of money spent over the last eleven years towards both major and minor flood relief projects across the state.Figures released show Donegal received just over €2.4m – less than 1% of total expenditure between 2005 and 2015.The figures, which show that just under €319m was spent between 2005 and 2015 on Major Flood Relief Schemes and Minor Flood Mitigation Works, also reveal that only €147,000 was allocated to major projects in Donegal over the last decade. The Sinn Fein councillor said “Following recent episodes of awful flooding throughout Donegal last month, many had begun to question the extent of the measures which had been undertaken over the last few years to help address flood risk and develop flood defences in the county.“In order to get answers to those questions, I asked my party colleague Deputy Pearse Doherty to ask the Minister for a breakdown of the total funding allocated to both state agencies and local authorities for the co-ordination and implementation of flood risk management and mitigation measures in each county since 2005.“In his response, the Minister stated that while not all spending may be attributed to specific counties as it was allocated across whole catchment areas, he said that data relating to expenditure on both major relief schemes and minor works on a per county basis was available and that just under €319m was spent during the period 2005 to 2015.“Of this money, the data reveals that over the last eleven years a meagre €147,000 was spent on major flood relief projects in the county while the remainder, which came to just over €2m, was allocated towards minor works and coastal protection measures in Donegal. “Collectively, the funding given to flood relief and mitigation projects in Donegal for the last eleven years accounted for less than 1% of the total amount spent on similar projects across the 26 counties.“It is simply outrageous that a county as large as Donegal, which has a number of areas which are quite prone to flood waters as recent months have shown, should be thrown the breadcrumbs while other counties are given tens of millions to protect their communities from flooding.“If we look at the data we can see that Cork for example received over €66m of this total spend, projects in Dublin accounted for €45m, while in Tipperary just shy of €42.5m was spent on measures to relieve flooding there.“What these figures highlight is that in the opinion of successive governments, the people Donegal are so far down the pecking order that we don’t even merit 1% of the resources apportioned to help tackle flooding.“In the past number of weeks, homes, business and indeed entire communities in Donegal have been left devastated by flood waters and this data proves what we’ve known all along: that we here in Donegal are constantly overlooked, neglected and forgotten.” LESS THAN 1% OF ALL FLOOD SPEND SINCE 2005 ALLOCATED TO DONEGAL was last modified: January 24th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CLLR GARY DOHERTYdonegalflood