GP cover at Dromore and Trillick surgeries could cost £1000 per day

Credit: PA images

The Western Trust could pay out £1000 per day to cover the cost of locum cover at two GP surgeries.

Trillick and Dromore surgeries were set to close affecting around 6000 patients, as the Department of Health could not find anyone to take over after the local doctor resigned.

However in a rare move earlier this week, the Western Trust stepped in and said it will provide cover temporarily.

It has now emerged that the cost of getting that GP cover could total £1000 daily.

  • Video report by Sara O'Kane

Figures revealed earlier this week show there has been a 16% fall in practice numbers in the Western Trust alone.

Dr Laurence Dorman is the Northern Ireland Chair of the Royal College of GPs.

He told UTV 'costs are always going to be high.'

Dr Dorman said: "They're always going to be higher than the normal costs, we see this as a short term thing and we would urge the Department of Health and government officials to work with us for a more permanent solution.

When asked if the figure is £1000 per day, Dr Dorman said that is possible:

"I haven't heard the exact figures but it wouldn't be unusual to hear figures like that," he said.

He added: "We don't have enough GPs to provide the services that our community needs, that our entire country needs at the moment and so this should be an urgent wake up call to the Department of Health to look at our training figures, to increase them dramatically so that our patients get the care that they need."

The Department of Health said it 'does not comment on contractual issues and clearly the priority has been to ensure that GP services continue.'