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The GP service in Rathmore is to be extended.

Rathmore road sign

Rathmore has been without this service for 18 months; a doctor does hold a clinic every Thursday in the village.

Dr. Christine Walsh McCarthy who is based in Millstreet has been providing a one day a week service in Rathmore since the retirement of the previous GP.

The doctor is now to increase that service to Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Recently, Kerry County Council granted planning permission for a permanent GP practice in Rathmore and Dr Walsh McCarthy will be using these two rooms from next month.

Deputy Danny Healy-Rae has welcomed the announcement.

However, local Fianna Fail Cllr Niall Kelleher says while the extra hours are a step in a positive direction it is only a token towards the people of the area who have been without a fulltime service for nearly two years.

A meeting to discuss the development is planned for tonight in Rathmore.

The HSE says in the long term it is planning to build a Primary Care Centre in Rathmore.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Simon Harris has told the Irish Examiner today that he is set to make a fresh bid to encourage GPs to move to rural areas including a state paid salary.