‘Minister must open his eyes to Health Crisis’ – Rogers
SDLP MLA for South Down, Seán Rogers, has said that Health Minister Edwin Poots must open his eyes to the scale of the crisis facing our health service and create a strategy which meets the needs of people in South Down.
Speaking after a debate in the Assembly this week, Rogers said, “We have a crisis in our Health Service. That is acknowledged by patients, staff, unions and everyone else who has witnessed the results of disastrous strategic planning over the last several weeks.
“Everyone, that is, apart from the Health Minister and his colleagues in the DUP. Initially their refusal to accept the crisis was simply an exercise in saving face politically.
“It now threatens to worsen the very serious situation A&E wards find themselves in and undermine the tireless work of staff to hold things together. If we don’t acknowledge there is a problem then how can we find a solution?
“But it would be wrong to simply look at Belfast RVH or Craigavon area hospital in isolation,” he continued. “The crisis conditions affecting these hospitals are compounding the difficulties people in South Down face following the closure of Emergency Services at the Downe hospital at evenings and weekends.
“Research shows that a prompt emergency medical response is critical to the survival of a patient. Trauma patients in rural areas have a greater likelihood of needing advanced care and are less likely to receive it .
“The unique geography and roads infrastructure of the South Down area must be taken into consideration. You can’t compare driving 35 miles on rural roads with motorway driving.
Rogers added, “The Downe must be part of a comprehensive A&E strategy. When curtailing services has been proven to be part of the problem, then the restoration of services must be part of the solution.”
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