Sinn Féin's Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, who is also the chair of the Health Committee in the Assembly, has reacted to comments by Dr Brian Dunn of the BMA after he stated that at least six Acute Hospitals should be closed. Calling his approach shortsighted and stating that it did not allow for other factors Ms Gildernew said:
"The attitude of Dr Dunn and the BMA is quite shortsighted and does not account for access to acute hospitals across the north.
"I would like to press Dr Dunn on which hospitals he thinks should close and how he stacks this against the need to provide emergency access within the 'golden hour'.
"The simple fact is there is not the infrastructure to support his proposals.
“The previous minister outlined so called efficiency savings in the Northern Trust area which would clearly lead to a black hole in medial provision for that area. Taken alongside cuts to ambulance provision sections of mid Ulster could revert back towards third world provision for health.
"If this were repeated with five other hospitals as Dr Dunn would see fit then we really would be in a health provision crisis.
"We need to be more imaginative than closing down services. We need to look at centers such as the Altnagelvin Cancer Unit to see that all Ireland co-operation can support increased provision that delivers for local communities as one such success to be repeated."