Minister for Health Edwin Poots has recently announced that A&E services are likely to close at the City Hospital possibly as soon as October. The Stop the Cuts Campaign claims the decision to close the unit represents a “major attack on our health service”.
Campaign spokesperson Paddy Meehan stated “We are protesting to demand that the Assembly Executive drop their plans to close our A&E unit. If it is closed the remaining units at the Royal Victoria and Mater hospitals will be flooded with 42,000 extra patients as well as the extra demand caused by the cut in hours at Lagan Valley A&E.
“The Minister is misleading people when he states that more staff will be provided at the Royal and Mater to cope. Jobs are being cut every day from the health service. Last year alone, 1,500 jobs were cut in the NHS in Northern Ireland. The last Assembly Executive carried cut £805million from health and introduced a moratorium on recruiting staff. That is why we do not have enough staff, because of cuts.
“If Belfast City Hospital loses A&E services or sees cuts in opening hours it will put peoples’ lives at risk, it’s that simple. That is why people have to protest against these cuts.”