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Doherty meets with NIO Health Minister over Tyrone County

21 June, 2005


West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty says that NIO Health Minister Shaun Woodward has now given a commitment to meet with key stakeholders in the fight to retain and develop services at the Tyrone County hospital but says that he is deeply concerned that the Minister is awaiting the action plan of the Strategic Change Management Group, which was sent up to examine the implications of the Risk & Governance Review Report into the Sperrin Lakeland Trust, before he will come to Omagh in person to discuss the situation at the Tyrone County.

Following the meeting at Castle Buildings, Stormont, yesterday afternoon the local MP said,

"I am pleased that the Minister has now given a commitment to fulfil the long standing requests from the Omagh Hospital Campaign Steering Group, Omagh Council and local MLAs to meet and to personally come to Omagh at a later stage to engage with all key stakeholders in the campaign to retain and develop services at the Tyrone County hospital.

"I also welcome the fact the Minister acknowledged the fact that staff at the hospital are not being consulted never mind being listened to by management and that the people of this community have absolutely no faith in the Sperrin Lakeland's Trust ability to be impartial in regards to attempting to retain services at Tyrone County. He promised that he would take steps to rectify this situation.

"However, given the real and immediate threat to acute services at Tyrone County, I am deeply concerned that the Minister says that he could do nothing to pre-empt the findings of the Strategic Change Management Group as he has charged this group with bringing forward short, medium and long term proposals for the configuration of services in the Sperrin Lakeland Trust Area.

"The Minister said that he would be making a major statement in regards to Health Services next Tuesday and that the situation in the Sperrin Lakeland Trust Area would form part of this statement. I hope that the Minister takes this opportunity to address the health care concerns of the people of this community rather than dealing with the symptoms of the situation that has been engineered by vested interests within the Sperrin Lakeland Trust. ENDS

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