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Threats to West of Bann hospital services could led to loss of lives

6 July, 2005


Two Sinn Féin MPs, have described the threats to hospitals services West of the Bann as an abdication of responsibility to provide fair and equal access to services for people in Fermanagh and Tyrone and warned that the threat hanging over Tyrone County and the Erne Hospital as 'life threatening'.

In a joint statement Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew and West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty said:

"The recent risk assessment into services at the Tyrone County highlighted the failure of Sperrin Lakeland Trust to maintain and deliver services. This erosion of services that has threatened hospital services throughout Fermanagh and Tyrone should have been stabilised with the commitment to a new acute hospital and enhanced status hospital provision providing access to these counties.

"However, it appears that Shaun Woodward has allowed the agenda of policy drift and service erosion West of the Bann that had been successfully challenged to emerge yet again.

"Both Fermanagh and Tyrone deserve access to the full range of hospital services. The discrimination of the past and policy agenda of the civil service to strip services from West of the Bann and to fail to invest in essential services and infrastructure must not be allowed to prevail in the 21st century.

"We need a clear and unambiguous statement from the department of health on the range and nature of services situated West of the Bann.

"Any u-turn on previous commitments, indeed any failure to address concerns about the loss of essential hospital services in Tyrone and Fermanagh will be life threatening and could result in the unnecessary loss of life. Is this the cost of direct rule?" ENDS

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