The Minister for Health Edwin Poots has been challenged to “tell the truth on the decision to close the Belfast City Hospital’s A&E”.
South Belfast Socialist Party spokersperson Paddy Meehan stated “the decision to close the City A&E was not taken as the Minister claims because of resourcing reasons, but was a planned running down of the service to close acute services across Belfast and other Health Trusts.
“The decision to close the A&E was implemented in November 2011 but under the guise of a temporary closure. In actual fact the decision was taken years ago to run down the service, including the removal of the A&E’s emergency surgery unit.
“The Minister needs to tell the truth. This is part of the Assembly Executive’s cuts programme for public services – a programme that is going to accelerate in the next 2 years. A recent Belfast Health Trust report reveals cuts of over £83million in this Trust alone.
“Any consultation which does not offer the option of full funding and a resourcing plan for an A&E at the City Hospital is a sham consultation. Workers in the health service and local communities have not and will not accept these cuts.”