January 11, 2007

Public attitudes to developing and using cross-border health services

Politicians and health professionals have identified health as a key area for cross-border co-operation. The two health systems (National Health Services in the North and Irish Health Service in the South) share common core principles, face similar health and service problems, and have adopted similar approaches to tackling issues. However there is little evidence of joined-up cross-border development in current health reforms which are developing in parallel in both parts of the island.

One notable exception is the planned cross-border GP Out-of-Hours service*. Earlier research identified approximately 70,000 people across the length of the border who live closer to a GP out-of-hours services in the other jurisdiction. Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT), a partnership of border Health Boards and Trusts, is working to resolve a range of geographical, technical, professional, pharmacy and financial issues which would improve access to primary care services for people living in the border region.

From Autumn 2006 a cross-border pilot scheme which will allow people living in South Armagh to access GP-Out-of-Hours services in Castleblaney Co. Monaghan. A similar pilot scheme in the North West will allow people in Donegal to access services across the border in Derry .

‘The final report on this work was delivered to CAWT for comments in August 2006.

The Centre for Cross Border Studies is documenting the views of people living in or working with border communities on using health services across the border.


Please contact us to register your support or you concerns by;

  • Completing this short online survey
  • Attending one of the public meetings organised in your area
  • Contacting Patricia Clarke by phone at 028 3751 1559, by email at patricia.clarke@qub.ac.uk or by writing to the Centre for Cross Border Studies, 39 Abbey St, Armagh BT61 7EB

* GP Out-of-Hours services are health services provided to people when their own General Practitioner/medical centre is closed, that is, in the evenings and during the night from 6.00pm to 8.00am , at weekends and over public holidays.

30 May 2006 Scoil Naomh Bríd Muff, Co. Donegal 7.30pm
14 June 2006 Crossmaglen Community Centre Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh 11.00am
15 June 2006 Wald Centre Cullyhanna, Co. Armagh 8.00pm
21 June 2006 Lir House Newtownhamilton, Co. Armagh 11.00am
28 June 2006 Culloville GAC Culloville, Co. Armagh 8.00pm

See more details on this project.

See the survey, the CAWT GP out-of-hours bulletin [573 kb] and the Final Report [492 kb].