South Eastern Health Trust must rebuild public confidence - Hazzard
Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard was speaking after a public board meeting of the South Eastern Trust in Downpatrick on Wednesday afternoon.
The South Down MLA welcomed the opportunity to address the Board Meeting, but says “more must be done to repair serious damage to public confidence in the ability of the South Eastern Health Trust to future-proof our local hospital" in Downpatrick.
Mr Hazzard said:
“Today we have heard strong appeals yet again from public representatives calling on the Trust to reverse its recent decision to close beds at the Downe - closures that will in reality spell the end for Coronary Care at the Downe.
“The local South Down community have been very clear, it is wholly inequitable that the Downe should have to face a 20% reduction in beds while the Ulster Hospital escapes yet again. We reject entirely this unrepentant centralisation of services to Belfast.
Mr Hazzard added:
“I do however welcome the Trust’s remarks that we need to work together in building a local health service that meets the increasing needs of the South Down community.
"I am heartened that they have now welcomed Sinn Féin's suggestion that we work towards establishing a people’s forum where we can build a partnership between the people of South Down and the decision makers.
“In light of this I would call on the South Eastern Trust to immediately put on hold any plans to close beds at the Downe and lets enter a dialogue on the best way forward.”