IN A new development there is now strong speculation that doctors in Killarney, Co Kerry, will set up a new primary care facility in an office block off the N22 on the Tralee side of the town.
The news comes after the GPs’ consortium this year pulled out of advanced plans with the HSE to set up a €40 million primary care centre on HSE-owned lands at St Finan’s nearby.
This was after the town council gave permission for the centre but refused to give permission for a pharmacy. The consortium appealed this to An Bord Pleanála, and a decision is due shortly.
However, partly because of changed financial circumstances it is considered extremely unlikely the GPs will now consider the St Finan’s site regardless of the decision by An Bord Pleanála
The GPs look set to buy a number of floors with provision for consultants facilities at The Reeks Gateway multi-storey centre.
It was built by Sunday’s Well Properties, and was originally marked for office and retail space. It has underground car parking and access from the town centre. It also contains a petrol station and residential facilities.
The town council yesterday confirmed there is no impediment to a pharmacy on the site.
Some 12 of 14 Killarney GPs are involved in the project, which had been advanced over a number of years and on which the consortium had spent considerable money in planning and consultancy fees.
Pharmacies in Killarney and Castleisland have been concerned about the concentration of GPs at one centre and the competition aspects of one dispensary there.
It is understood an out-of-town pharmacist has separately bought a retail unit which is owned by Sunday’s Well property developers.
The Killarney GPs may also invite tenders for a second pharmacist.
Yesterday, a spokesman for the GPs, Dr Gary Stack, confirmed The Reeks Gateway was “an attractive option” for the GP consortium and was being seriously examined.
However, he said a deal about the facility had not been finally agreed.