Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has expressed serious concerns following news that the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has procured English private firm Totally Healthcare as a provider of Endoscopy services at the Downe Hospital from 1st June 2020.
Speaking the South Down MP said:
“I have made urgent contact with the SEHSCT following news that they have procured the services of an English based private healthcare company, ‘Totally Healthcare’, to provide Endoscopy services at Downe Hospital.
“I have requested that the SEHSCT review this decision immediately and instead focus their efforts into co-designing the restoration of this service in partnership with the existing workforce and their trade union representatives.
“Having spoken to staff at the Downe, I believe that a co-designed restoration of services is doable and I wholeheartedly believe staff will engage positively with this process.
“For the SEHSCT to privatise the Endoscopy service would raise serious financial questions as to the overall cost of providing these services to the public purse; the additional cost of bringing staff from Britain to deliver a service that to date has been delivered by SEHSCT staff is an example of this.
“I will continue to proactively work with Downe Hospital, the SEHSCT and local healthcare workers to ensure that we can restore services locally without having to relinquish scarce public resources to a private healthcare company in England.”