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Delays in future of children's heart services unacceptable

3 December, 2013 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin said that the delay by Health Minister Edwin Poots in announcing his decision on the future of children’s heart surgery is becoming unacceptable and causing anguish with the families of sick children.

The Foyle MLA and Chair of the Assembly's Health Committee said:

"In the Assembly today I asked the Minister of Health Edwin Poots to outline the future of children’s heart services in the North. The Minister said he had hoped to announce the decision this week but is unable to do so and could not specify a date in which he will.

“The Minister needs to lift the uncertainty this delay is causing parents and tell us what his plans are for the future of children’s heart services, something he was meant to do in June.

“The chief Paediatric Consultant Surgeon Professor Woods is retiring next week and as yet a replacement has yet to be identified and this could cause delays in surgery times.

“Parents are worried about the future care of their children and we need to reassure them that the best interests of their children is being served by the Health Department.  The Minister needs to do this as a matter of urgency.”  

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