More than 200 patients have been treated for sexually transmitted infections at the genito-urinary medicine clinic at Letterkenny General Hospital since it opened last September.
The figure was announced today at a cross-border health conference in Omagh. Delegates at the ‘A Celebration of a New Service’ conference were told about the success of a number of new clinics which were set up at Letterkenny, Altnagelvin, Derry and Tyrone hospitals. The initiative was made possible through the cross border health services partnership Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT), which secured funding from the EU for sexual health services under the INTERREG IVA programme.
Speaking at the conference about the cross border initiative, Prof Sam McConkey, Project Chair and Head of Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine, HSE said: “In the border counties as in other parts of Ireland, we are seeing increasing numbers of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). STIs have a very human cost and may have long term effects on people’s lives in addition to the significant financial cost to the health service in managing the consequences of late diagnosis or untreated infection. With the implementation of these much needed additional services, people will have better access to expert advice and treatment, allowing us to both prevent and treat STIs earlier, ultimately reducing healthcare costs at a later stage.”
On behalf of the Project Board, Kieran Doherty, General Manager of Primary, Community and Continuing Care, Donegal commented: “Anyone concerned about their sexual health can now access sexual health services locally. Significantly, this project has created a border-wide network of services which are fully accessible to people within their local communities and are pro-active in promoting the importance of good sexual health.”
The GUM clinic at LGH is open Thursdays from 5.30pm to 9pm. See your GP to refer you for an appointment or contact the clinic directly on 074 912 3715.