When speaking to a number of people who work within Roscommon's health services, and subsequently a number of service users, I was concerned to find that the administrative borders of our health services are quite inconvenient for people living in some border towns.
One individual shocked me when they explained how service users in Monksland must travel to Roscommon town to avail of assistance, even though the same services are provided in Athlone town, the geographically logical choice. I was informed of another instance where a service user in Cortober moved to the Leitrim side of Carrick-on-Shannon. The result being that a file had to be closed in Roscommon and the case referred to the Leitrim service. Not to mention the fact that this user had been required to travel from Carrick-on-Shannon to Roscommon town prior to moving.
This system seems to place some rather unnecessary expense on service users, as well as undue stress. Given that parts of Athlone (Monksland), Carrick-on-Shannon (Cortober) and even parts of Ballinasloe span across county borders, one would imagine that the geographic proximity of users to services would be taken into consideration when assigning services.
To my knowledge this is not an issue that has been raised before, which given what service users had to say to me, was surprising. I would see it as a progressive move should service administrators review the current arrangements with a view to taking geographic proximity, and not just county borders, into consideration when assigning services.
I don't suggest to advocate on behalf of all service users, nor do I want to suggest that I have the answer to this issue, or that there is an easy solution. I would simply like to see some action from administrators to see if they can make life a bit easier for service users in these border towns, who so often get the short straw in matters such as these.
"If you're willing to keep moving forward, eventually you will succeed."
All opinions and views expressed are my own, they do not necessarily reflect the positions of my businesses.
One reader asked why I monitor my comments and why they must be approved, and just for the rest of you it's not for censorship, it's because of Spam-bots. I'll publish all comments posted by real people :)