Health Minister Simon Harris says new primary health care centres provide a wide range of integrated services as well as giving staff modern and appropriate facilities.
He was speaking at the official opening of one of those new centres, in Ballymote, Co Sligo, this afternoon.
The new centre, provided under a Public Private Partnership model, will serve about 11,500 people in the areas of Ballymote, Gurteen, Riverstown, Geevagh and adjoining townlands.
It will provide a wide range of services including physiotherapy, podiatry, dental and social work services, as well as occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and dietetics.
Also included are a range of mental health, psychology, social care and counselling services.
Speaking to Ocean FM News, Minister Harris spoke of the value of centres such as Ballymote providing so many integrated services:
In a speech to those present, Tomas Murphy, area director of nursing for mental health services, said the opening of centres such as Ballymote, was particularly important when considering how we view and treat mental health.
There was a small group of protesters at the entrance to the new centre.
It included campaigners against the Gardasil HPV vaccine and anti-abortion protesters.
Asked if he had anythiing to say to the protesters, this was Minister Harris’s response: