There have been calls for a hospital forum to combat the cuts to both the Downe and Daisy Hill hospitals.
The Independent/Alliance group on Newry, Mourne and Down Council are fighting hard against cuts at Daisy Hill.
It comes after a successful motion at a recent council meeting from the group’s leader Councillor Cadogan Enright.
The motion which was brought to Council by the Independent/Alliance group calls on the development of a hospital forum to enable local councillors the opportunity to combat the cuts to both the Downe and Daisy Hill hospitals.
Independent/Alliance group leader Councillor Cadogan Enright from Downpatrick said: “The same trick was pulled.
“The South Eastern Trust completely accepted that a 24 hour A and E unit was required at the Downe for clinical purposes, and claimed to be planning and budgeting for this and seeking to deliver it.
“However, they claimed that while an increased number of A and E doctors could be found for the Ulster Hospital, none could be found for the Downe, so despite clinical need, the night-time shift had to be covered by local doctors and all emergencies diverted to Belfast. It is pretty clear to me that this is exactly the same strategy that is being adopted by the Southern Trust with Daisy Hill.”
Independent Newry City Councillor Kevin McAteer added: “It is vital that we prevent cuts from occurring at Daisy Hill Hospital and it is important that all parties and politicians work together on this.
“The development for a hospital forum will help facilitate that by giving councillors the opportunity to work together to help prevent said cuts from taking our vital services.
“It is important to point out that these cuts to both Daisy Hill and the Downe hospital are unnecessary and uncalled for as both hospitals have proven time and again that they are an important part of our community and that their services are vital to this district.”
Councillor Patrick Brown from Alliance added: “It’s vital that in the face of cuts to public services all politicians work together as a united front, ensuring ratepayers have the health and social care they need and deserve. It is no different a situation in Newry as in Downe, and I hope that local leaders will see the new super councils as an opportunity to launch a joined up, district wide campaign to protect our hospitals.’
Newry City Councillor Davy Hyland also added: “These cuts will affect vital services and that can have a major impact locally. the services themselves are vital in regards to health and safety and promoting well being in our community and they must be maintained at all costs.”
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