Health ser­vice cam­paign­ers urge sup­port for protest

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY DONNA DEENEY

A PROTEST against cuts that had been planned for the health ser­vice in the North West will go ahead to­day — even though the Western Trust no longer plans to carry them out.

A se­ries of cuts to front­line health ser­vices across North­ern Ire­land were averted in the short-term af­ter an ad­di­tional £40m was di­verted from other Stor­mont de­part­ments.

The Western Trust Board will con­sider the draft plan for the pro­posed cuts at an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing at the Foyle Arena to­day. But it said it will be rec- om­mended that the Trust will ac­cept “no or low im­pact pro­pos­als in the sav­ings plan”.

“The pro­pos­als that will no longer be con­sid­ered in­clude; the tem­po­rary re­duc­tion in rou­tine elec­tive care, re­duc­tion in pro­vi­sion of domi­cil­iary care pack­ages, con­sol­i­da­tion of res­i­den­tial and day­care ser­vices for older peo­ple and the re­mod­elling of neo-natal ser­vices at South West Acute Hospi­tal,” a spokes­woman said.

De­spite the re­prieve to the pro­posed cuts, Shaun Harkin from the Stop the Cuts cam­paign said it was vi­tal their protest wasn’t called off. He said: “The fight is still on to save the health ser­vice. It must start with op­pos­ing all of the cuts the Depart­ment of Health is at­tempt­ing to push through.

“Trust boards should refuse to send back any ‘sav­ings’ plan and in­stead de­mand more fund­ing. We will be go­ing ahead with our planned protests on Fri­day and we urge ev­ery­one who wants to save the health ser­vice to join us.”

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