€12,000 to operate Traveller Christmas clinic in Limerick town

The clinic will be based in the Rathkeale Health Centre.

THE Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed that a triage clinic that has been set up in Rathkeale to meet a surge in the town’s Traveller population over Christmas will cost €12,000 to operate.

The clinic, which operates under the HSE’s Traveller Health and Wellbeing service, will operate until December 31, closing only on Christmas Day.

Attendees are advised that if they have any symptoms of Covid-19, they must undergo an antigen test before entering the clinic to help prevent transmission of the virus.

The clinic is an annual service provided in Rathkeale over the Christmas period when the population of the town increases three fold from approximately 1,400.

According to figures provided by the HSE, doctor and nursing costs for the nine days is approximately €10,000 with €2,000 allocated for supplies.

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The clinic is based in Rathkeale Health Centre and staffed by a nurse and a GP, supported by a public health nurse. It operates as a walk-in facility where an appointment isn’t required, although numbers will be managed.

A spokesperson for the HSE said that the service does not provide private healthcare and is available to people with eligibility for public health care – Irish Medical card, GP visit card, NHS card or EHIC issued outside of Ireland.