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Adams concern at Maternity Proposal

9 September, 2010 - by Pat Sheehan

West Belfast MP Gerry Adams has expressed his “concern” that the Minister for Health and the Belfast Health Trust are, without consultation, now proposing to build a new maternity unit on top of the new critical care building which falls far short of the proposed new regional hospital for women and children.

Mr. Adams said:

“There is an urgent need to replace the Jubilee maternity and to ensure that services for new born children and mothers are modern and effective.

While I welcome the replacement of the Jubilee what is being proposed is not the purpose built regional women and children’s hospital that would have seen modern services for women and children on adjacent sites.

Moreover, there has been no consultation with community representatives, stakeholder groups, or elected representatives about this new proposition.

I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister to discuss this matter and to seek more information on this proposal.

I have severe reservations about the Ministers commitment to a regional women and children’s hospital around which there has been a two decade long campaign.

The proposed regional hospital for women and children was approved six years ago and since then there has been an ongoing battle to get the Department of Health and Belfast Trust to commence work on the construction of that hospital.

In May at a meeting with the Minister I asked him to use his Ministerial prerogative to reprofile departmental capital spending to prioritise this hospital. The Minister said that he had no discretion to do this.

Mr. McGimpsey said that he had discussions with the Minister for Finance to ask for more funding however in a response to an Assembly question from me Mr. Wilson said that he had not had “any detailed discussions with the Minister for Health on the capital funding for the planned regional hospital for women and children” (AQO 1415/10)


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