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Sinn Féin welcomes inquiry into Child Deaths

2 November, 2004

Sinn Féin health spokesperson, John O'Dowd MLA, has welcomed an announcement by direct-rule minister Angela Smith to order a proper inquiry into allegations that three children died needlessly in hospitals here.

Mr O'Dowd said,

"I had contacted the minister's office in the immediate aftermath of the broadcasting of the UTV Insight programme on October 21st which contained allegations that the deaths of these three children could have been avoided. That the three children's deaths from hyponatraemia could have been avoided remains a source of major concern and worry. I am sure that many people will want to see all the facts surrounding these cases properly investigated."

"I had urged Angela Smith at that time to initiate a full, independent inquiry into these deaths in order to ensure that mistakes which may have been made are not repeated in the future. It was extremely important that the minister acted swiftly on this matter in order to prevent public confidence in the health service being further eroded. I welcome this evening's announcement by the minister. It is now essential any inquiry deals with all the circumstances which led to these deaths and also investigates the allegations surrounding a covering up of the facts." ENDS

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