Amended version - Health Minister must 'Come Clean' on Proposed Cuts to Downe - Hazzard

November 7, 2018

Mr Hazzard said:
‘I have been contacted by several local people who feel distressed and worried that such important services within our local hospital could be under threat. To date the public have received mixed messages and confusion from those in charge; this must not be allowed to continue.

‘The Cardiac Ambulance service is facing trust wide cut backs. When cardiac arrest occurs in the district, an ambulance with a doctor and cardiac nurse would have previously attended. Impending cuts will see a paramedic manned ambulance re-routed to either the Ulster or Royal Hospital.

‘My concern is that the health workers on board will not be skilled to administer cardiac services and therefore that patients from this district will have to wait until being seen in hospital by the trained professionals.
‘The Cardiac Ambulance is a vital health service for local people, and its long-term sustainability should not be in question. The Minister must come forward now and publicly clarify what is happening – nothing should be hidden from thepublic’s view. I would ask the Minister to act in the public’s interest – come clean and end the confusion.’

Mr Hazzard also criticised the Minister and his Department for their handling of the debacle concerning the Coffee Shop in theDowne.
‘To Civil Servants within the Department the Coffee Shop and related hospitality services may appear incidental, this could not be further from the truth. Hundreds of patients and relatives rely on these services on a daily basis and without them a visit or stay in the hospital would be a very different experience.’