Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness has said Sinn Féin are totally opposed to any diminution of services at the Mid Ulster Hospital and will continue to fight to secure the services that meet the needs of the local community, including the retention of full life saving services and maternity.
Mr McGuinness said:
"Sinn Féin are totally opposed to any diminution of services at the Mid Ulster hospital. We will continue to fight to secure the services that meet the needs of the local community. This includes retaining full life saving services and maternity and enhancing the wider profile of available services.
"There is a great deal of frustration at the approach of the Trust. It would appear that they have not taken on board the full range of very real concerns that were presented to them by Sinn Féin and by Magherafelt and Cookstown Councils.
"The agenda of civil servant to try and bypass regional hospital services was exposed by the leaked Trauma report. It is an approach that will discriminate against rural communities. This is the planning drift that Bairbre de Brún challenged when she was Health Minister.
"People living in rural communities deserve equal access to all health services. I believe that from within the department there is a total failure to understand the issues connected to delivering sustainable health services to rural communities.
"This approach will affect the sustainability of A&E services in rural hospitals and could leave thousands without proper access to life saving services. Despite the approach of civil servants, this is not inevitable, as Bairbre de Brún proved. The Mid Ulster can and should play a central role in meeting the health needs of the local community.
"This weekend Sinn Féin are holding a meeting in Gulladuff to deal specifically with the issue of rural health and the implication of the re-emergence of the 'Golden Six' hospital agenda within the Department of Health." ENDS