Ballycastle group to protest at Stormont over hospital closure

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North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that the Health Minister needs to listen to the thousands of people who have come out against the proposal to close Dalriada hospital.

He was speaking ahead of the Save The Dal group presenting a petition of some 20,000 signatures to the Minister. There was also a Sinn Féin debate on Monday on Health at which Mr McKay spoke about the situation in Ballycastle.

He said: “Communities from North Antrim will be at the front steps of Stormont to submit a petition to the Health Minister which asks him to prevent the closure of Dalriada Hospital.

“This service plays an important part in preventing an increase in bed blocking and further acute admissions in Causeway hospital and therefore it does not make any financial sense to close down a hospital that encapsulates what Transforming Your Care was truly about. Care closer to and in the community which prevents heaping further pressure on the system as a whole.

“The Minister needs to reverse this decision. He needs to listen to the frontline health workers in Dalriada, Causeway and throughout the north coast that know that the closure of Dalriada will only make a bad situation worse.”