first_imgArranmore IslandMinister for Health Leo Varadkar has visited Arranmore Island – the first time a Health Minister has visited the island in living memory.The reason for the visit was to assess its health facilities and see how island residents deal with health issues.Minister Varadkar said: “I wanted to see at first hand how island residents manage their health needs, and to assess the State’s ability to meet those demands. As Minister for Health I am trying to get direct experience of our health service, and this is a good opportunity to see how people are cared for in unique circumstances.” Arranmore has a population of 514, largely Irish speaking, which rises to 2,000 in the summer months when Gaeltacht students, migrant workers and tourists visit.The visit coincides with an HSE review into island health services, which involves residents and professionals living and working on Arranmore and other islands.Fifty per cent of the Island population is over 65 years of age, half of whom live alone.Health Minister Leo VaradkarMany of those in employment commute daily to work on the mainland. The main source of employment on the island is sheep farming, fishing, construction, and providing home care.There is a dedicated health centre with GP services three days a week. The island GP is resident and has practiced on the island for 30 years. The locum GP has also worked on the island long term. The Public Health Nurse works Monday to Friday and travels to the island daily. The primary care centre is located 15 km away on the mainland. Access to the multidisciplinary team is on a needs assessment basis and visits are made to the island when required.Out of hours emergency services on the island are provided through 999 and facilitated by the RNLI service located at the Arranmore lighthouse. Community groups organise sporting, recreational and entertainment services for all residents which includes meals on wheels and services to promote mental health.HEALTH MINISTER TRAVELS TO ARRANMORE TO GET ‘DIRECT EXPERIENCE’ OF HEALTH SYSTEM was last modified: October 2nd, 2015 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)last_img read more