Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Anger at delay in cross border health services

21 July, 2004

Sinn Féin health spokesperson, John O'Dowd MLA, has called upon the North's health minister Angela Smith to personally intervene in order to speed up the decision-making process in relation to a proposal from the North Western Health Board in the 26 Counties for the development of a joint Oral and Maxillo-Facial Service between the NWHB, the Western Health and Social Services Board and Altnagelvin Hospital Trust in the North.

Mr O'Dowd said, "The North Western Health Board's proposal, which advocates a partnership between the above three agencies, would ensure the foundation for an expanded, sustainable and viable inter-regional OFM service in the medium to long-term.

"It is my understanding that the proposal has been already presented to the Department of Health and Children in Dublin, and they have endorsed the proposal as an excellent model of cross-border health service provision.

"I also understand that concerns have been expressed, that in the event of this proposal not receiving the required financial and other support from DHSSPS in the North and from the North Western Health Board in the 26 Counties, the OFM service throughout entire region could be jeopardized.

"I recently wrote to Angela Smith urging her to intervene in this case in order to accelerate the decision-making process concerning the proposal. I have also indicated my willingness to meet with her, or with senior Departmental officials, to discuss this matter further if it would assist in accelerating the process." ENDS

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