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There must be a future for Tyrone County Hospital

19 September, 2005

Following the statement from direct rule health minister Shaun Woodward about safety of emergency A & E and surgical services at Omagh Hospital, Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has said that Sinn Fein believe that there must be a future for the new Tyrone County Hospital that is both safe and meets the needs of the local community.

Mr Doherty said:

"I am very concerned at the immediate implications of this announcement for the future of the Tyrone County. However, Sinn Féin believe that in the long-term there is the potential to secure essential hospital services for West Tyrone.

"I believe that, working with others, we can secure Hospital Services for Tyrone that meets the needs of the local community.

"Clearly safety of patients must be paramount but the current situation has been created by years of neglect by successive direct rule administrations and the Western Health Board and Sperrin Lakeland Trust.

"As the MP for the area I am committed to securing a long-term future for accessible quality hospital provision in West Tyrone. Central to this is the need for the department to address the long-term under resourcing of hospital services West of the Bann.

"To this end I will be meeting with the Trust, Board and Department on Tuesday. I will also meet the Chairperson of the Omagh Campaign Group, Danny McSorely on Wednesday morning and staff at the Tyrone County Hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

"I will then be travelling to the British Labour Party conference on Monday next week for urgent meetings with direct rule Health Minster Shaun Woodward and British Secretary of State Peter Hain." ENDS

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