Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Golden Six Hospital Agenda must be fought

29 March, 2006

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has urged elected representatives and communities west of the Bann and in the southern part of the six counties to unite to fight what he describes as the return to the 'Golden Six' Hospital Agenda being pursued by senior civil servants in the NIO and Department of Health.

He said,

"The leaked Trauma Report from the Department of Health which proposes the centralising of resuscitation and stabilisation life-saving services at the Royal Hospital in Belfast, the Ulster in Dundonald and at Antrim and Craigavon hospitals would leave Altnagelvin as the only access point for critically ill patients west of the Bann.

"The proposal to also by-pass the 'Acute Hospitals' of Daisy Hill in Newry and the Erne in Enniskillen would effectively lead to the creation of an apartheid system of health care in the six counties where equal access to life saving interventions is denied to hundreds of thousands of people along geographical and demographic lines.

"This leaked plan represents, I believe, the re-emergence into the ascendancy of the 'Golden Six' Hospital agenda which has been the NIO Civil Service blue print for the centralisation of our health services for decades.

"The leaked trauma report proposals contradict assurances being given by the health authorities and the Minister that despite the removal of Surgical A&E Services from Tyrone County this Friday (31st March), that they are committed to retaining the capacity for life saving interventions including stabilisation and resuscitation services.

"On Monday there is a question and answer session with British direct rule Health Minister Shaun Woodward at Stormont. At the meeting I will be asking him to clarify the leaked Trauma Report proposals in the context of the assurances given about the retention of stabilisation and resuscitation services at Tyrone County.

"Elected representatives and communities must unite to fight the Golden Six Agenda and demand equality of access to crucial life saving services." ENDS

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