Mid-Ulster A&E: Mass demonstration Friday 28 May

It was fantastic to see so many local people come out onto the streets of the town on Friday night to demonstrate their anger at the threat to Mid-Ulster A&E services. But it is crucial that this is the start and not the end of a campaign. Today, the Health Minister and Trust management to close A&E services, but the fight is not over. It is a purely administrative decision which can be overturned if there is enough pressure applied by ordinary people.

A number of local politicians spoke at Friday’s rally and declared their opposition to the closure, including Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. This should be welcomed, but it is these same parties which are responsible for health cuts across the North. The four main parties in the Executive all voted for the budget which took £113 million from the Department of Health this year, on top of a three-year programme of £700 million in so-called efficiency savings. At local level, politicians have been rubber stamping cuts on Health Trust boards.

Lives will be put at risk if we lose the A&E and people have to travel to Antrim or elsewhere in emergencies, to units are already hugely overstretched. There is a need for urgent and determined action, and the trade union movement has a
crucial role to play.

Union activists in the Mid-Ulster area should immediately begin to build support for the lunchtime walkout this Friday to join a major demonstration in the town centre where the community can join them to show their support. This would send a real message to the politicians and Trust management that the people of Mid-Ulster are prepared to fight to defend this service.

 

SAVE MID-ULSTER HOSPITAL

Assemble 1pm Friday 28 May outside the Bridewell Centre

Leave you workplace / school / college to join the mass demonstration

PEOPLE POWER CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Called by Save Mid-Ulster Hospital

Press Release – 23rd May
The Socialist Party has issued a call for trade unions representing health workers in the Mid-Ulster Hospital to organise a half-day work stoppage and walkout next Friday, 28th May, in protest at the proposed closure of the accident and emergency unit and other cuts in service.

Speaking after the protest rally in Magherafelt on Friday evening, Mid-Ulster Socialist Party representative Lucia Collins said:-
“It was fantastic to see so many local people come out onto the streets of the town tonight to demonstrate their anger at the threat to Mid-Ulster A&E services. But it is crucial that this is the start and not the end of a campaign. On Monday, the Health Minister and Trust management will take a decision on the fate of the unit here, but even if they decide to close it, the fight is not over. It is a purely administrative decision which can be overturned if there is enough pressure applied by ordinary people.”

 

“A number of local politicians spoke at the rally tonight and declared their opposition to the closure, including Martin McGuinness. That should be welcomed, but it is their parties which are responsible for health cuts across the North. The four main parties in the Executive all voted for the budget which took £113 million from the Department of Health this year, on top of a three-year programme of £700 million in so-called efficiency savings. At a local level, politicians have been rubber stamping cuts on Health Trust boards. They say the closure of the A&E services here is about health and safety, not finance. This is just smoke and mirrors. They themselves admit that there is no case for the closure of the unit.”

“Lives will be put at risk if we lose the A&E and people have to travel to Antrim or elsewhere in emergencies, to units are already hugely overstretched. There is a need for for urgent and determined action, and the trade union movement has a crucial role to play. If the decision on Monday is to close the unit, I call on union activists in the Mid-Ulster to immediately begin to organise a walkout and half-day work stoppage at lunchtime on Friday, followed by a rally in the town centre where the community can join them to show their support. This would send a real message to the politicians and Trust management that the people of Mid-Ulster are prepared to fight to defend this service. It would also be an excellent example to other communities effected by cuts and could be the start of a campaign across Northern Ireland against all attacks on our health service.”

The Socialist Party is also calling on people to attend the protest at the hospital at 7pm on Monday organised by Mid-Ulster Trades Council.

 

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