Loane House must remain open - McGahan
Sinn Féin MLA Bronwyn McGahan has said that despite the Southern Health Trust decision to close Loane House no action should be taken until a rural impact assessment is carried out.
Ms McGahan said,
“Loane House is the only facility in the South Tyrone area that provided beds for elderly patients and moving it out of the constituency will only add to the hardship suffered by the patients and their families.
“At a meeting today I listened to solely medical reasons as to why the ward would be closed yet no one looked at the other mitigating factors.
“People living in rural areas are being stripped of services on a now daily basis as British Tory cuts demand its pound of flesh.
“It seems that the rural community is the first port of call when it comes to implementing cuts and this has to stop.
“The local community has made their voices heard in signing a petition calling for the unit remain open in the Dungannon area.
“Loane House has provided an invaluable service to people in this area and closing it will mean that many people including elderly family members will have to travel long distance in order to visit their loved ones.
“Sinn Féin has ensured that the Health budget was not only ring fenced but increased so that front line services would be protected so there is no reason Loane House should be sacrificed.
“I will now be demanding a meeting with the Health Minister Jim Wells in order to ensure that these factors are taking into consideration before the final decision is made.”