Majority of children with heart conditions still treated in England
Sinn Féin MLA and Health spokesperson Maeve McLaughlin has said while advances have been made in heart services for children, delays in decision making will ensure the majority of those affected are still having to travel to England for surgery.
Speaking today Ms McLaughlin said:
“There have undoubtedly been advances on the approach taken to children’s cardiac surgery on the island of Ireland.
“For too long too many families have had to travel to England adding an extra burden to families.
“This progress has been welcomed across the board. However, there are serious concerns about the impact delays in decisions will have on the delivery of these services and the forward momentum achieved to date.
“Decisions need to be taken on advancing sites in Belfast and Dublin which includes a children’s heart centre in Belfast.
“With no Minister in place people are rightly worried. Delays play with people’s lives.
“We need to see the Health Minister return to his desk. There is serious work to be carried out and decisions, which must be made soon.
“Currently the fact remains the majority of children are still receiving surgery in England. In the absence of a minister this will remain the case adding further to the hardship of the families.”