FOLLOWING public pressure here in Fermanagh, the Department of Health has organised a second public meeting on the future of medical imaging services at SWAH and have extended the consultation deadline.
A public meeting was held in into a region-wide review into modernising medical imaging services such as X-ray and MRI scanning at Enniskillen Townhall on December 14.
While that meeting went ahead, Fermanagh Save Our Service (SOS) and others walked out in protest at what they said was a poor venue choice and also at the lack of notice given ahead of the event.
The Department has now organised a second meeting at Fermanagh House on Monday, January 15 at 7pm.
It has also extended the consultation deadline from December 22 until January 22.
“I was there on the night, and it’s what I demanded,” said Padraig Murphy of Fermanagh SOS, who added the only notice people had received was through a story in the Herald.
“I insisted the meeting shouldn’t go on because it was despicable contempt for the people of Fermanagh, to have a room that would hold around 20 people along with their own entourage they brought down,”
Mr Murphy also asked: “Who arranged the meeting in the Townhall? It wasn’t a natural venue.”
Encouraging as many people as possible to turn out for the new meeting at Fermanagh House, Mr Murphy said that people must continue to fight for local services.
A spokesman for the Department said it had organised the second meeting after receiving feedback from those present on December 14 that insufficient public notice had been given.
They added “the venue was chosen as a public sector facility that would be convenient for local attendees.”
The review, “Strategic Framework for Imaging Services in Health and Social Care”, recommended the creation of medial imaging regional “hubs”, raising fears locally about the future of imaging services at SWAH.
However the Department has insisted there is no threat to these services at SWAH.
“The public consultation on the Strategic Framework for Imaging Services proposes increased collaboration across the five Trusts to ensure that the delivery of imaging services throughout Northern Ireland is more responsive to meeting the needs of all patients regardless of their location,” said a spokesman for the Department.
“The Department has no plans at present to change the role of the South West Acute Hospital as an acute hospital within the HSC network and as such the provision of the necessary imaging services to deliver acute services would not be affected by the proposals under public consultation.”
Those wishing to attend the meeting at Fermanagh House on January 15 are asked to email ImagingReviewConsultation@health-ni.gov.uk.
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