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McLaughlin welcomes Health Committee call for Public Inquiry

15 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has welcomed the call by the Assemble Health Committee on the Minister to instigate a full independent Public Inquiry into the C. Difficille outbreak in the North's hospitals.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

"I put the question of the need for a full Public Inquiry to the Minister in the Assembly on Monday but he said that he could not see the necessity for such a course of action.

"I welcome the decision today by the Health Committee to echo my call. I believe that there has been such an erosion of public confidence in the Health Service as a result of the manner in which this issue has been handled that the only way to restore that confidence is through the transparency of a full independent Public Inquiry.

"The situation has deteriorated to the situation where elderly people are cancelling appointments rather than take the risk of contracting a Hospital acquired infection.

"I would urge Minister McGimpsey to act on the recommendation of the Committee and set up the Inquiry without further delay. The sooner that public confidence in the Health Service is restored the sooner he will be able to concentrate on delivering the first class service that the public deserve." ENDS

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