McGuinness hits out over ‘Mid’ A&E closure

MID-ULSTER MP and Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness has welcomed Health Minister, Edwin Poots criticism of the decision by his predecessor, Michael McGimpsey to close the A&E Department at the Mid-Ulster Hospital.

“I welcome the comments by the health Minister this morning reflecting my own longstanding criticism of Michael MCGimpsey’s ill-informed decision to close the A&E Department of the Mid-Ulster Hospital,” said Mr McGuinness.

“Michael McGimpsey closed this facility claiming that the Antrim Area Hospital could cope with the increased numbers from Mid-Ulster.

“This clearly was not the case and time has proven that not only did Antrim not have the capacity but that it was already overstretched with patients waiting on trolleys in corridors for attention.

“I hope that Edwin Poots will re-evaluate A&E provision throughout the Health Service and ensure that all areas of the North have proper access to A&E services.”

Meanwhile, Save the Mid Chair Hugh McCloy says he met with the new Health Minister at Stormont moments before the announcement was made for the go ahead for the Cancer Unit at Altnagelvin.

Mr McCloy said he took the opportunity to pass a report to Mr Poots regarding the Mid-Ulster Hospital.

He said he welcomed the fact that Mr Poots may not have been fully aware of the problems within health in Mid Ulster.

Mr McCloy continued: “Save The Mid welcomes comments made by Mr Poots regarding Mid-Ulster hospital after the refusal of the previous Health Minister to meet or speak with Save The Mid regarding Mid-Ulster Hospital.”

Vice Chair Yvonne McCoy added: “ We would like to thank him for his time and future commitment to meet Save The Mid to discuss the historical run down of Mid-Ulster and future possibilities.”