Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon has expressed concerns regarding the lack of accessible facilities for urgent and emergency health care needs in Newry and Armagh, particularly in rural communities.
Speaking following contact with the Southern Health & Social Care Trust, Fearon stressed that inadequate ambulance cover, and major concerns with the unavailability of breast cancer treatment facilities, was making healthcare increasingly difficult to access for vulnerable patients.
Speaking to Newry Times, Fearon said, “My contact with the Southern Trust revealed that citizens in Newry and in rural sections of Armagh will have access to breast screenings at a mobile unit in Drumalane.
“But for patients whose scan reveals complications, the closest site where they can access urgent treatment in Craigavon.
“This puts young people, the elderly, and those in isolated rural communities at a disadvantage as they struggle to access treatment critical to their long-term health.
She continued, “This appears to be another example of persisting health inequalities in this district as a result of gradually relocating services from Daisy Hill to Craigavon.
“All of this exists against the backdrop of poor ambulance cover to rural areas, particularly in South Armagh, and ongoing uncertainty around the future of services at Daisy Hill Hospital.
The local MLA added, “Several constituents have raised this issue, and I urge the Trust to explore all available options to improve the accessibility of breast cancer treatment facilities in Newry and Armagh, to avoid disadvantaging vulnerable citizens.”
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