Bannview patient Tony organises protest in face of surgery closure

Bannview patient Tony Hendron. INPT02-002
Bannview patient Tony Hendron. INPT02-002

A protest against the closure of Bannview Medical Practice has been organised for Friday.

It has been called by patient Tony Hendron, following yesterday (Tuesday’s) revelation in the Portadown Times that the remaining six practices at Portadown Health Centre have applied to temporarily close their lists to new patients.

This means patients at Bannview, who number around 5,000, will have to seek medical care elsewhere when the practice closes on January 16, due to no GP cover.

Writing on his Facebook site Portadown Picture Post, Tony, who has been a patient at Bannview for 40 years, said, “The protest is in support of Dr Shauna Heenan who has basically been driven out of her job by gross overwork and doctors in general who are all stretched to the limit.

“It is against the seeming inaction of the HSCT and the Health Minister Michelle O’Neill who also seems to be slow in acting in this unprecedented crisis.

“It is against the gross lack of information provided by the HSCT. Patients are having to rely on the local paper to get what little information there is.”

He added, “If you are a patient of Bannview please consider showing your support and concern by joining the protest. If you know a patient of the practice please inform them of this event.

“This is an extremely serious and unprecedented situation. 5,200 patients could be left without access to a GP from Monday, January 16. Many have serious lifelong conditions or life threatening diseases. Other practices in the centre are rushing to close their doors as they are also stretched to the limit.

“The HSE have tried without success, it seems, to get a new contractor. The responsibility now passes to the Health Minister Michelle O’Neill who needs to act swiftly to avoid a severe crisis.

“Patients are in the dark as information is hard to obtain. Some are talking of forming a patients’ protest group to make the minister take notice.”

The protest will take place at 12.30pm.