All-island cooperation must be maintained in Health – O’Reilly
Speaking in the aftermath of the British referendum result, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD expressed concern for the future of all-island healthcare initiatives.
Deputy O'Reilly said:
“Sinn Féin believes healthcare must be developed on an all-Ireland basis. Ideally, we should be moving from increased cooperation to ultimately full integration of services on the island, maximising the healthcare benefits for all and achieving greater economies of scale.
“Indeed, in the past decade there have been developments in health cooperation between the Assembly and Leinster House, with a number of exciting joint departmental projects being developed. These include work on shared radiotherapy and paediatric cardiac services; health promotion focusing on alcohol, tobacco and obesity; cancer research; mental health; and suicide prevention.
“The result of the British referendum is deeply worrying for the future of this cooperation and parents, families and communities are anxious to see the continuation of this cooperation. This is particularly important given that the new children's hospital will have a state of the art cancer centre, which will service children across the whole island. However, this needs a critical mass of population to be effective and expert briefings have pointed out that this is envisaged as operating on an all island basis.
“Minister Simon Harris needs to engage with the Minister of Health in the Assembly as a matter of urgency to ensure that current and future cross border projects are maintained and secured for the future. Illness, disease and health know no borders and it is important that success in cross-border projects are continued into the future.”