The Workers’ Party General Secretary, John Lowry has expressed outrage at news that the in-patient cardiology unit in Whiteabbey in Co Antrim and Accident and Emergency (A&E) services in the Mid-Ulster hospital are to be removed within the next fortnight. Although these cutbacks were planned some time ago, staff were notified on the 12th May about closures due to take place on the 24th. These services will be replaced by minor injuries units and will leave large parts of rural Northern Ireland with inadequate emergency treatment.
“I am deeply concerned at the very short notice given regarding the withdrawal of these services, particularly the A&E services these communities require , said Mr Lowry. “Workers in these hospitals have been given two weeks to make new plans after years of public service. No wonder that Unison describes the workers as being overwhelmed and bewildered by the violent change that has been imposed on them. This is no way to treat the workers in these services.”
“If David Cameron follows up on his promise to cut £200 million from the Northern Ireland budget in this financial year, then we can expect more cuts to essential services in Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein and the SDLP and the DUP are keen to distance themselves from the decision of Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey, but in reality all parties in the Stormont Coalition are committed to an economic programme of cutbacks in essential social services and all voted to cut the Health Service budget. The Workers’ Party hopes that as public anger grows, people will become increasingly unwilling to support the parties at Stormont, which claim to represent them while destroying their quality of life".
Issued 14th May 2010