Newry & Armagh MLA Justin McNulty has issued a stark warning about the future of Daisy Hill Hospital.
Mr. McNulty was speaking after a series of troubling concerns were raised with him by health service whistle-blowers.
Health service staff members, who spoke to the SDLP MLA under condition of anonymity, have raised alarming concerns that the current provision of emergency surgery at Daisy Hill is under imminent threat.
Further concerns have been raised around the lack of consultation with staff and stakeholders on the future of Daisy Hill, meaning that if the Department of Health’s plans are implemented, Daisy Hill would be likely to lose QUB medical students, as well as junior doctors, anaesthetists and see just a single consultant surgeon left at the hospital.
Newry & Armagh SDLP MLA Justin McNulty has said:
“I have sat in many meetings with the Department of Health asking us as elected representatives to be responsible and not feed speculation, yet when the Minister and his departmental officials have not yet responded to an urgent request I sent for an emergency meeting, and when the Chief Executive of the Trust will not be frank and up front, then it’s clear that something is going on in relation to concerns about the downgrading of Daisy Hill’s Emergency Department and our hospital.
“I have made it clear to the Minister as well as the Southern Trust, that any attempt to scale back services at Daisy Hill Emergency Department will be completely and absolutely rejected and resisted by me and the people I represent.
“Let the record be absolutely clear. On behalf of the people of Newry and Armagh, I am sending a clear and unambiguous message to the Health Minister, to his departmental officials, and to the Chief Executive of the Southern Trust – that we the people of Newry and Armagh will not be dismissed, we will not be standing idly by, and we will not watch on if any attempts are made to downgrade Daisy Hill’s Emergency Department and by extension, our hospital.
“Daisy Hill Hospital needs to be expanded, not downgraded. I have contacted the Ministers for Health in the North and South in an effort to ensure All Ireland Health opportunities are seized to provide faster access to vital health care for all our citizens, and to ensure people and families’ lives are not put at risk in the name of ‘rationalising’ healthcare. There is nothing about downgrading Daisy Hill’s Emergency Department that is rational to the people I represent.”