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Doherty to press Health Minister on Tyrone County Hospital services

17 June, 2005

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty says that he will use a meeting with Direct Rule Health Minister Shaun Woodward on Monday to press for urgent action to stave off the threat to all acute services at Tyrone County, a situation which he says has been engineered by vested interests within the Sperrin Lakeland Trust. Mr Doherty said:

"I have been seeking a meeting with the Minister since mid May to discuss the deteriorating situation at Tyrone County.

"The Minister has stated that difficult decisions will have to be made by the Trust in the coming weeks as Œwe can no longer continue providing services which may incur a risk to patients or staff‚.

"However, this disguises the fact that vested interests in the Trust have been pro-actively engineering the run down of services at Tyrone County for some considerable time and have used the release of the Risk and Governance Report last month as an excuse to speed up this process.

"I met with a large number of staff at the Tyrone County hospital yesterday (Thursday 16th June) and I will be bringing their deep concerns about what is going on directly to the Minister on Monday. Moreover, the Minister must understand that the people of this community have absolutely no confidence in the Trust's ability to behave impartially in regards to the Tyrone County.

"Therefore I will be pressing the Minister to personally intervene to stave off the threat to A&E, Surgical, ENT and other services.

"As part of the wider clinical network, there is no reason why medical staff from other hospitals could not provide cover at Tyrone County until such times as the necessary staff are put in place in Omagh.

"I will be also urging the Minister to come to Omagh and meet with all parties who have been requesting meetings with him including the Hospital Campaign Steering Group, Omagh Council and the MLAs." ENDS

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