25/04/2013

Children's Heart Services Moves To RoI

The Health and Social Care Board has recommended that children from Northern Ireland who need heart surgery should receive treatment in the Republic of Ireland.

A report has said that the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children is no longer sustainable due to the number of patients it deals with.

The report, launched on Thursday, says that children will now need to travel to Dublin.

The Children's Heartbeat Trust have been campaigning to protect children's heart surgery in NI.

Health Minister Edwin Poots is expected to make a decision in the next few weeks if it is to be approved.

Alliance Health spokesperson Kieran McCarthy MLA has expressed his disappointment.
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Mr McCarthy MLA said: "I am very disappointed by this announcement, especially as the Assembly Health Committee was not given any indication that this was going to happen.

"At least by recommending that these services be moved to Dublin, it rules out the unfeasible option of moving it to England.

"It was just a couple of weeks ago that around 80 MLAs signed a petition to retain children’s heart surgery services in Belfast. It is clear that the overwhelming majority of politicians in the Assembly support the retention of these services.

"I would like to pay tribute to those involved in the Children’s Heartbeat campaign that has been attempting to save these services. I will continue to lend them my support and I hope that with their campaigning this will not be the final decision."

(CD)

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