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Reduction in Coronary Care a cut too far for Downe

25 November, 2013 - by Chris Hazzard

Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has described a recent decision by South Eastern Trust to cut the Downe’s Cardiac Ambulance Service as a “cut too far” for South Down residents and has called on the Health Minister to rethink the on-going centralisation of services out of the Downe.

 The South Down MLA said:

 “In a recent response to my questioning, the Health Minister has said he does not believe there is a need for a Cardiac Ambulance Service at the Downe Hospital. Referencing a new centralised service that will see patients taken straight to the Royal in Belfast, the Minister has once again peddled the myth that a centralised health service is an improved health service.

 “I would imagine the growing number of patients across South Down who are fed up waiting for ambulances to arrive on scene would have a very different analysis of the situation.

 “There is a growing fear across South Down that the Minister and the South Eastern Trust are overseeing a terminal reduction of services at the Downe; that a growing wave of centralisation is leaving local people increasingly vulnerable and at risk.

 Mr Hazzard added:

 “It is time for the Minister and the South Eastern Health trust to re-engage with local people and healthcare staff who are best placed to comment on the future impact of these cuts. The Downe Hospital was officially opened just three years ago, but already the Health Minister has pursued a policy of closure by a thousand cuts.”

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