North Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay has slammed the closure of the Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle as “an argument based on false economy”.
Mr McKay was speaking to the Times after the “brilliant” public meeting in Sheskburn House in Ballycastle on Monday night which saw almost 1,000 people attend.
“The clear message from the meeting in Ballycastle is that the closure of this hospital will not be accepted.
“The Northern Trust officials clearly have not thought the proposal out.
“They did not have answers to many questions put regarding the future provision for patients or the future position of staff.
“This is not a large amount of money - £600,000 to keep a hospital open.
“The Northern Trust has had the closure of the Dalriada Hospital in its sights for some years now - even when finances were not tight.
“The Minister should be aware that the people living in rural areas are equally entitled to a health service as people living anywhere else.
“The service provision in Dalriada Hospital is second to none.
“It makes no sense to close the Dalriada Hospital as it will just put extra pressure on other places such as the Causeway Hospital.
“This is an argument based on false economy which will just move the pressure elsewhere.”