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Ministers should act now on North-South health co-operation

5 December, 2011 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has welcomed the recommendations of the North-South Feasibility Study on co-operation in the provision of health services on the island of Ireland.

He called on Health Ministers James Reilly and Edwin Poots to implement the recommendations.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The North-South Feasibility Study presents a programme for real progress in the development of health services on an all-Ireland basis with benefits for all who share this island.

“This study should have been published when it was completed in February 2009 but it was deliberately withheld by former Health Ministers Michael McGimpsey and Mary Harney. I welcome its publication now and its recommendations.

“Many of the recommendations can and should be acted upon right away. These include the development of radiotherapy capacity in Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry, to improve access to radiotherapy for populations in the North West of the country, joint work on less common organ transplants, child protection and cross-border foster care.

“I welcome especially the recommendation for the two departments and relevant agencies to explore approaches to improve access to services, including high quality primary and community care services, particularly for populations in remote rural or border areas.

“Health Ministers James Reilly and Edwin Poots should now act to implement the recommendations of this study and should put in place implementation plans in the coming months.”

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