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Women’s and children’s hospital at RVH must be a priority - Ramsey

11 November, 2008 - by Sue Ramsey

Women's and children's hospital at RVH must be a priority - Ramsey

Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast has called on the Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey, for the development of a women's and children's hospital at the Royal to be brought forward and financed accordingly.

This follows a debate at the Assembly on a motion raised by West Belfast MP Gerry Adams on the issue.

Speaking after the debate Ms Ramsey said:

"There has been an long, ongoing campaign to see a new regional hospital for women and children at the Royal Hospital. This is now 14th year of the campaign which began in the 1990's.

"Commitments were given under British direct rule that a new build would commence and that £300 million would be allocated for this.

"The Jubilee Maternity Hospital and the Royal Maternity Hospital were amalgamated soon afterwards, and a new hospital was to follow. This new build has not happened.

"We were all reassured that a new state-of-the-art hospital would be built on the site. That was supposed to have been in the 2005-08 spending cycle. However, we are now in the 2008-11 spending cycle and not a penny has been allocated to the building project.

"There is an urgent need for this project to be prioritised and the development of a new women's and children's unit at the Royal to begin. Currently there is a derelict building, overcrowding, reduction in staff morale and even, due to lack of space, bin storage in some corridors.

"Michael McGimpsey must explain where the money for the project is and bring the new build forward from what he, as Health Minister, envisages. For patients to wait any longer is unacceptable."

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