SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone,
has warned that rural communities, particularly those west of the Bann, will
be hardest hit under the proposed cuts to health services. The Mid Ulster
MLA was speaking after attending a public meeting where the Northern Trust
outlined its share of the proposed £70million cuts.
Mr McGlone said, “It is clear from the
cuts under discussion by the Northern Health Trust that, once again, it is
rural communities, particularly those west of the Bann, that will be hardest
hit by these proposals.
“Among the cuts being discussed by the
Trust are the loss of around 30 staff at the Mid Ulster Hospital site in
Magherafelt to be transferred elsewhere with the proposed "temporary"
closure of non-urgent surgery services at Magherafelt and Whiteabbey.
“Rural health services are already
under severe pressure and waiting lists continue to grow across the north. I
am deeply concerned that these cuts are to target domiciliary care delivery
too. Aside from the fact that at present it can be very difficult to get
adequate care packages in place, any further delays in delivery of care
packages can only put further strains on the Health Service and families,
including delays in discharge from hospital leading to inevitable "bed
“In the continued absence of a working
Executive, the promised mega millions investment in the health service that
the DUP claimed as a result of their support for a Tory government remains
“Rather than that promised investment
the health service here now faces more cuts.
“The SDLP opposes these proposals.
“We want to see a properly funded
health service delivering for all our constituents.
“That requires the restoration of the
Executive and a locally accountable Health Minister working to improve the