‘Cross-border health provision must be included in Brexit negotiations’ – Newry MLA

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Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty has said that the future of health provision in border communities must be an integral part of the Brexit negotiations between UK and European Union officials.

McNulty raised the issue with the Board of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust recently in Newry. 



Speaking after the meeting McNulty said, “At present the Border between South Armagh and Louth / Monaghan is completely invisible and people regularly access primary health care on the opposite side of the border to where they live, be that GP Services or Hospital Services. 

“People access these services because they’re closest to their homes, and this accessibility must remain post Brexit.

“The people who live on either side of the border don’t see a border in reality and there is a genuine fear in this community that the health needs of this community will be swept aside in the discussions between the UK and the European Union. 



“There are much bigger issues at play around emigration and customs control, the movement of people and security however local services such as primary health care cannot be allowed get lost in the mix,” he insisted.

“The Southern Trust covers a large section of the border so it will be significantly impacted. I took the opportunity when addressing the Board of the Southern Trust to stress the importance of considering cross border healthcare in the context of Brexit.



“The Trust already does amazing work in providing cross-border services with the dialysis services being s prime example. These and other services cannot be impacted by the decision of some to leave the European Union.

“Our health care system is at breaking point, from GP and Out of Hours Services, to Home Care Packages to Emergency Departments. Time and time again we are told by officials that the failure to recruit the appropriate staff for each service is holding back service development or threatening the viability of some services. 



The Newry MLA added, “Any restrictions preventing people from coming to live here and work in our health service could have serious consequences and should be avoided.”

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