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Woodward left in no doubt over need to deliver a future for Tyrone Hospital

28 September, 2005

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has left Direct Rule Health Minister Shaun Woodward in no doubt that there had to be a future for Tyrone County hospital which fully meets the health needs of the local community following an hour-long meeting at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton yesterday.

The one-to-one meeting follows the announcement by the Minister that decisions are imminent in terms of future service provision from Tyrone County and Erne following reports which deemed certain services at both hospitals unsafe.

Mr Doherty said,

"At the meeting I spelt out the bottom line that there has to be a future for Tyrone County that fully meets the health needs of the local community.

"I put it to the Minister that this consideration must underpin all plans for service provision in the Tyrone County in the immediate term, in the interim period (between now and when the new hospital is built), and in the final model of service provision when the new build hospital is fully operational.

"While being non-committal as to what decisions he will make within the next couple of weeks, the Minister promised to take on board all the points I raised including the need to visit and engage with the staff at the Tyrone County who rightly feel aggrieved that the picture painted in the risk reports is not balanced by pointing out the unstinting commitment of staff there.

"Mr Doherty also raised the issue of the need for proper services at Tyrone County in a separate meeting with Secretary of State Peter Hain and says that the issue will not go away until the people of Tyrone have services which they can have confidence in." ENDS

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