Former TD Jerry Cowley to contest general election

Ex-Mayo deputy to run as part of the ‘No Doctor, No Village’ campaign

Jerry Cowley, who was previously elected as TD for Mayo in 2002, is to contest the general election for the ‘No Doctor, No Village’ campaign. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Jerry Cowley, who was previously elected as TD for Mayo in 2002, is to contest the general election for the ‘No Doctor, No Village’ campaign. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

 

Former Independent TD Jerry Cowley, who served one term in the Dail from 2002 to 2007, is to contest the general election as part of the ‘No Doctor, No Village’ campaign.

Dr Cowley is to make his announcement at a “Save Rural GP services” public meeting in Mulranny, Co Mayo on Tuesday. In Clare, Dr Michael Harty has already declared that he will run.

“It was a hard decision because it’s a difficult thing to do with the costs and you’re away from your own practice. It’s tough, but the alternative is to do nothing and watch rural services get worse.

“It’s totally unacceptable where we have all these patients on trolleys in A&E. I want restore the patient as the number one priority in the health service,” said Dr Cowley, who has run his Mulranny practice for more than 30 years.

The ‘No Doctor, No Village’ campaign has warned that cuts in grants and allowances by the Health Service Executiv e are making rural GP practices impossible to run. More GPs may yet decide to contest the Dail election.

“More than half the doctors in Mayo are over 55. Because of all the cuts young doctors don’t feel it’s viable to run a practice anymore and that needs to be changed before it’s too late,” he added.

Nationally, GP services get 2.5 per cent of the health budget: “It is just ridiculous. It doesn’t make sense. I want to try and stop that. I can see a big future for general practice and rural services if adequate resources are there.”