Stark warning on our health services

Services at South West Acute Hospital are under severe threat following the Department of Health’s stark warning that health services will be centralised.
A telling statement released on the back of spiralling waiting list figures and in the middle of a consultation which could lead to the closure of the stroke unit at SWAH warns of combining some hospital services into regional centres.
The centralisation of health services is an admission that patients would be forced to travel to Altnagelvin or Belfast for medical care, and the loss of vital services from SWAH.
Statements released by the Department in recent days have strongly indicated that the centralisation of services is the direction they wish to go in with one statement warning, ‘transformation is under way and will undoubtedly involve some difficult decisions.’
Speaking about consolidated services within the Western Trust Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said, “Where appropriate, concentrating certain types of hospital care in regional centres of excellence is in the best interests of patients. We all naturally take comfort from having services on our doorsteps, particularly in emergencies.
“However, there is a careful balance to be struck between accessibility and quality of treatment.”
Health campaigner and Councillor Donal O’Cofaigh believes that the Department is being more shockingly honest about the threat to services and what the future agenda is.
“In Fermanagh, we are facing the problem of an immediate threat to our stroke unit, and it is essential that people show the strength of the opposition to any threat to local health services.
“The consequences for our population will be devastating if we lose quick access to local health services.”

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