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Sinn Féin to hold party conference on Rural Health

23 June, 2006

Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty MP has announced details of a Sinn Féin conference on Rural Health to be held on Saturday, 24th June, at the Sinn Féin Centre in Gulladuff.

Speaking ahead of the conference Mr Doherty said:

"Health is a touchstone issue. Access to health services is just as important to people who live in rural communities as it is to people who
live in the bigger urban centres. Yet across a range of issues our rural communities, right across Ireland, are living with a second-class service.

"This is about more than what is happening with hospitals in either the 6 or 26 counties it is about the underlying approach of the two health departments to the provision of health services in rural areas and specifically in the Northwest, West of the Bann and in Border areas.

"The leaked Trauma Report highlights the re-emergence of the 'Golden 6' agenda in the north, an agenda replicated in the south. We still do not have the systematic all-Ireland approach to health care that is essential. Where there is good practice, this must be applauded and broadened and deepened. Where there is delay, for example in regional cancer care, this must be challenged.

"This party conference will bring together activists and representatives from across Ireland to look at the many different campaign that we are involved in, both around hospitals and around services and the drift in government policies that is seeing rural people discriminated against, and to formulate a collective approach on Rural Health." ENDS

Note to Editors

Sinn Féin Party Conference on Rural Health
Gulladuff, South Derry
Saturday, 24th June
Registration 9.30 am
Keynote speakers include Pat Doherty MP MLA, John O'Dowd MLA and Donegal Councillor Pearse Doherty

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