‘Save the Dal’ campaign representative Réamí Mathers has expressed protestors ‘widespread outrage over today’s (Tuesday) decision by the Health Minister’.
In a statement to the Times, Réamaí Mathers spoke on behalf of ‘Save the Dal’ campaign group: “Today’s announcement has caused widespread outrage amongst the thousands of people involved in this campaign.
“For almost four weeks now, Health Minister Jim Wells MLA has stood idly by while the Northern Health and Social care Trust systematically closes Dalriada Hospital.
“Therefore to announce an 8 week public consultation on the closure, while a non-admissions policy is in place and while patients who are fit to be discharged will be, is an absolute fallacy.
“What we are now seeing is the closure of a gold standard hospital which provides essential services to so many who need it most, in order to compensate for shortcomings elsewhere in the Northern Trust area.
“Communities from across the region, along with elected representatives from all Parties and none, have stood together in order to highlight that the proposed closure is the wrong decision on every level and will result in added pressures and expenditure within the Northern Trust area.
“Yet the Minister seems to have ignored all the evidence and fact based arguments put before him.
“Not only is this a fundamentally flawed approach to the management of health service provision in both the short and long term, it also shows scant regard for the patients and staff of the hospital who have been treated with total contempt throughout this entire process.
“While the Minister and Northern Trust refuse to prioritise those who rely upon them most, the people of this area will continue to fight tooth and nail for however long it takes to prevent the closure of Dalriada Hospital.”