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Sinn Féin MPs to submit acute service proposals to Health Minister Angela Smith

6 January, 2004

Sinn Féin MPs are to meet with Direct Rule Health Minister Angela Smith in the next few weeks to discuss the party's proposals in relation to how it believes the deficit in acute service hospital provision in Tyrone and South Derry can be best addressed.

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty wrote to Angela Smith in December outlining how the decisions reached by former Health Minister Des Browne, have left a major deficit in terms of acute service provision for the population of Tyrone and South Derry.

MrDoherty said:

"I have now received written confirmation from Angela Smith stating her willingness to meet with a Sinn Féin delegation in the context of discussing our party‚s proposals on this crucial issue.

"We believe that these proposals as contained in our party document, 'A Healthy Future' represent realistic and sustainable solutions to the inequalities that exist in terms of access to acute health service provision between east and west of the Bann, within west of the Bann itself and in the north west region of Ireland as a whole.

"Sinn Féin has enshrined these proposals as a priority in our party manifesto and with the 4 Sinn Féin MPs attending this meeting with Angela Smith, Sinn Féin is signalling our determination to progress this issue without delay." ENDS

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