Sinn Féin MLA Áine Murphy has renewed calls for urgent action to tackle serious staffing issues at South West Acute Hospital impacting on emergency surgical services.
The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA said:
“Sinn Féin recently met with the Western Trust to raise concerns over the lack of general consultant surgeons at South West Acute Hospital and the impact it is having on the future of emergency surgical services.
“Alongside meeting the Trust, we have also met with former health minister, Robin Swann to discuss what can be done to urgently address staffing issues at South West Acute Hospital. I have now requested an urgent update from the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health on what is being done between the Department and Trust to sustain emergency surgical services.
“As well as this, the public need clarity from the Western Trust on the steps they have taken over the last number of months to ensure the SWAH is adequately staffed. Patients, staff and our community deserve transparency from the trust on these issues.
“Notwithstanding the challenges, the Western Trust and the Department of Health need to focus in the immediate term to recruit the necessary surgeons to ensure the health needs of the community of Fermanagh and Tyrone continue to be met.
“The Department of Health needs a three-year budget to plan ahead, retain and recruit staff at hospitals like South West Acute. The DUP’s refusal to form an executive and work with the rest of us has blocked an additional £1 billion for our health service, that would be used to begin to address many issues within our health service.”