‘Health crisis isn’t going to disappear’, insists Ritchie

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Monday, January 20th, 2014
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has called on the Secretary of State to convene urgent talks between the Health Minister in the north and his opposite number in the UK to address the crisis in Accident and Emergency Services. Speaking at Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons, Ritchie stated, “This crisis isn’t going to disappear and needs to be tackled head-on with the upmost urgency. “I was alarmed by the Health Minister’s apparent attempts to brush off the critical situation at the Royal Victoria as a one-off. We warned Health Minister Poots that the closure of the weekend service at the Downe would place an undue burden on other hospitals and sadly this has proven to be the case. “The shortage of A&E doctors also reflects a systemic problem across the NHS and most be tackled as such. For that reason the relevant Ministers, officials and Health administrations need to get round the table and find a solution. “I was pleased that the Northern Ireland Minister assured us that he would do this and I would now call for the north’s Health Minister to follow suit. Ritchie added, “If we do not address this problem immediately we will be vulnerable to further critical incidents as experienced last week, which ultimately puts people at risk and could have tragic consequences.”
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