I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, and thank him for his courtesy in attending the House. The issue before us is a very important one concerning the provision of a primary care centre in Douglas. Given the importance we, as a Government, place on primary care in our health policy, I hope the Government will prioritise the location of a primary care centre in Douglas. There are many suitable locations in this area and the success of other such centres, such as in Carrigaline and in other parts of the city, underscores the importance and need for a primary care centre in Douglas. We have had a number of briefings with the HSE, which highlighted its role in primary care. It is an opportune time to deliver a primary care centre in Douglas with, I might add, a daycare centre for the elderly, but that is a different matter.
A national needs assessment was conducted and identified the need for primary care centres in many parts of the city but, in particular, Bishopstown, Togher and Douglas. I hope that today we will get a clear indication from the HSE and the Government that this matter is a priority and that this will be the beginning of the journey to having a primary care centre located in Douglas. As the Minister of State, the Cathaoirleach, Members of the House and those watching the proceedings at home know, we are now living in an expanded Cork city council area, and Douglas has become part of Cork city. This is, therefore, an opportune time to promote the establishment of a primary care centre in Douglas. Douglas is a centre of population which is crying out for a primary care centre. Confusion surrounds the plans and proposals for the primary care centre but we now have an opportunity to bring clarity and certainty and to remove the confusion around the primary care centre.
I thank the Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, for being here and I commend him on the work he is doing in his brief. He is a very progressive and proactive Minister of State. I hope that today we will see the beginning of a new chapter and a good news story for Douglas.