Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Rural Healthcare requires new thinking

3 June, 2007


Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Caral Ní Chuilín has said that the delivery of healthcare in our rural communities requires a new approach and called for the establishment of a Rural Health Taskforce.

Ms Ní Chuilín said:

"It is time for a focused and co-ordinated response to the health needs of people living in rural areas. Centrally driven polices have undermined the long-term sustainability of health services in rural areas, particularly West of the Bann and in Border counties. An artificial border and the insanity of running two separate health systems back-to-back have compounded these barriers.

"Rural Health requires a new approach; an approach that moves far beyond the re-arranging of the deckchairs. Sinn Féin want to see the establishment of a Rural Health Taskforce that brings together community, voluntary, health and political figures with a focus on delivering solutions and looking at models from across Europe where there is a clear recognition that rural health must be addressed in a clear and focused manner.

"We also need to pressure on both the British and particularly the Irish governments, as Health is a specific area of co-operation under the Good Friday Agreement.

"This will require a shared vision and co-ordination of activities; the development of strategic alliances; lobbying for proper health care as part of Bill of Rights; and an assessment of best practice and an examination of how other European countries who share common borders deal with access to healthcare." ENDS

Note to Editors

The Assembly will debate a Sinn Féin motion calling for the establishment of a Rural Health Taskforce on Tuesday, June 5th.

Motion - Rural Health Taskforce

That this Assembly calls for the establishment of a Rural Health Taskforce with the objective of delivering a focused and co-ordinated response to the health needs of people living in rural areas, including:

  • a shared vision and co-ordination of activities;
  • the development of strategic alliances;
  • proper healthcare as part of a Bill of Rights; and
  • an assessment of best practice and examination of how other European countries which share common borders deal with access to healthcare.

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