Commenting on the recent Donaldson Health Review Report, Assembly Health Committee member and Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady has said the Report had little in it that heralded a new dawn for health and social care. 

He also said that he feared all this Report did for Daisy Hill Hospital was to further reinforce the rumours of its demise, something that he and Sinn Féin were determined to fight tooth and nail against.

"There is little in this report that heralds the new dawn for our health and social care service. Most media discussions have focused either directly or indirectly on Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry and it's survival as an acute care based medical facility.In his report, Sir Liam Donaldson The former chief medical officer for England said the distribution of hospital-type facilities here in the North was "too wide" given the size of the population" 

The MLA continued "He declared that we have too many hospitals and suggested that they be closed as part of an urgent overhaul of a system that in his words "is not fit for purpose". This declaration give grounds to media and many "health experts" to once again announce the impending demise of Daisy Hill Hospital.

"The Donaldson Review draws its conclusions for example by working out that we have too many hospitals after a per head of population count compared to England. He also insinuates that politicians like myself "know" that we need to make big decisions in relation to healthcare but are afraid to. I do not accept that an English model of health care  imposed on us because of head count analysis, is best practice. Nor do I accept that the only reason I wish to see Daisy Hill remain an Acute based Regional Hospital is because I'm afraid to close it or to take unpopular decisions. Nonsense utter nonsense. As a member of the Health Committee I will continue to fight any suggestion of reduction of status and services at Daisy Hill Hospital" 

Concluding the Minister added "Daisy Hill covers a wide rural catchment area that stretches into south Armagh and south Down. It is an essential hospital service to this region including inpatient, outpatient, day care, Maternity and  Accident & Emergency Services,  as well as specific specialist Services. The dedication, commitment and professionalism of all it's staff is widely recognised. That is why I and my colleagues will fight tooth and nail to halt any further diminishing of its present services."

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