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January 31, 2017
East Antrim Alliance candidate Stewart Dickson has expressed deep disappointment attempts to resolve the GP problem in Glenarm have failed, after it was revealed the local practice is to be closed.
Antrim Coast Medical Centre, which serves around 2,000 patients, will close its doors after the current GP retires at the end of March. While the post had been advertised, no applications were made.
"Without proposed health reforms and an increase in GPs, supply will continue to fall, which is extremely worrying. I repeatedly brought this issue to the attention of the Health Minister during the previous Assembly and also attempted to arrange meetings with Departmental officials to discuss potential solutions.
"The blame for this closure lies squarely at Michelle O'Neill's door. She has clearly lost grip of GP services, with this closure coming hard on the heels of the GP practice closure in Portadown. GP services are now falling like a deck of cards.
"This is devastating news for the over 2,000 patients, who will have to be reallocated to other practices miles from their homes. The vulnerable people of the Glens have been failed."
Mr Dickson added his praise for the retiring Dr Benedict Glover for his "years of tireless service," saying the GP was loved in the Glenarm community