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O’Neill slams closure of A&E in Mid Ulster and Whiteabbey

12 May, 2010 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin MLA for Mid Ulster Michelle O’Neill and the party spokesperson on Health has slammed the decision by the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to close the A&E in Mid Ulster and Whiteabbey hospitals.

Speaking today Ms O’Neill said:

“The decision by the Health Minister to close the A&E unit in the Mid Ulster, replacing it with a minor injuries unit is wholly unacceptable.

“This decision will further compound the dereliction of health service provision in the wider mid Ulster area. Many of the rural areas of mid Ulster will now be well outside the so-called golden hour of travel to a hospital. This timeframe is key to survival rates in emergencies.

“Furthermore there are concerns as to what will happen to the staff. Will the be redeployed, who will cover their travel or will they be laid of furthering the unacceptable cutbacks in front line service by Micheal McGimpsey.

“Previously we were told that there would be no change to the status of the Mid Ulster or Whiteabbey hospitals until Antrim and Causeway hospitals capacity was increased.

“However since then there has been no new build in Antrim or Causeway hospitals and there is no viable increase in capacity. How either hospital will cope is beyond me.

“I am not convinced that there has been adequate consultation on these closures. Whilst the safety of patients is paramount we need to see proper service provision at for those who require it.” 

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