Minister Poots has stated the closure of the City A&E was to be temporary, but to date there has not been a declaration by the Minister when the unit is to be re-opened. This has re-enforced the belief by many people and has confirmed the statements by the SCC that once the A&E department was closed; the Belfast Trust and Minister Poots never intended to re-open it.
The Stop the Cuts Campaign (SCC) is now demanding Health Minister Poots state when the closure of the Belfast City Hospital A&E unit will be reversed or be exposed as a liar.
In response to the closure of the A&E unit on the 1st November 2011; the SCC has organised a protest on that day to mark its opposition and establish a campaign for its re-opening.
Paddy Meehan, South Belfast SCC coordinator said “this unit must be re-opened immediately as figures for 2010/11 have shown 44.3% of all admissions across the Belfast Trust waited more than 12 hours. The closure of the City Hospital A&E unit will only exacerbate this situation putting people’s health and lives at risk.”
The closure will see a 15% increase in patients attending the Ulster Hospital A&E unit alone and even director of hospital services Seamus McGoran has warned “not all of the additional capacity will be in place from the 1st November.”
“The Royal, Mater and Ulster hospitals are already struggling on the brink of collapse and with cuts in health across all areas and with over 4000 health jobs gone this year; 42,000 extra patients forced onto these hospitals will only make this situation worse.”
“This will be the beginning of the campaign for the re-opening of the A&E unit; the SCC is determined on supporting and assisting in building a mass campaign to ensure that this so called temporary closure does not become permanent.”
The Stop the Cuts Campaign is calling on all public sector unions, community activists, workers and supporters opposed to the closure; and who want to establish the campaign for its re-opening to join the protest at Belfast City Hospital at 1pm on 1st November at the Lisburn Rd entrance.
Please bring placards and banners
For comments and further details please contact;
Paddy Meehan, SCC Coordinator: 07598501040
Pat Lawlor, SCC Coordinator: 07810522111