Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Foyle ‘out-of-hours’ service‏

22 January, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said that he is disappointed that there was no equality impact assessment taken before the decision to remove out of hours services from the West Bank of the Foyle.

Responding to a reply from Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to a priority question on the removal of out of hours service Mr McCartney said,

"The decision not to carry out an equality impact assessment in my opinion is the wrong one.

"The West Bank of Derry contains some of the most deprived wards across the North and people may but affordability before health by delaying travelling or not travelling at all due to the expense that will be incurred in accessing Altnagelvin due to a limited public service at out of hour times.

"Also with the susceptibility of the Foyle Bridge being closed during adverse weather conditions many people in the greater Shantallow and Northland ward face a return journey of up to 10 miles to access treatment.

"I am calling on the Minister to reverse this decision with a view to maintaining the out of hours services in Great James Street practice until the new generation Health and Care centre is completed at Creggan Burn Park which could provide all the facilities currently used as criteria to move the present service.

"The West Bank of the Foyle contains up to 70,000 people who are entitled to a first class accessible health service and I will continue to press the Minister to provide one." ENDS

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