[Sinn Fein]

8th January 2002

Hospitals too important to be used in political stunts

Sinn Fein Upper Bann MLA Dr Dara O'Hagan has hit out at the attempt by the DUP to use the situation at the Craigavon Hospital as a political stunt.

Dr O'Hagan said:

"Both at local council level and Assembly level myself and other local Sinn Fein representatives have visited Craigavon Hospital on a regular basis to see first hand what the situation within our hospitals is like.

"I would have no interest in political stunts. The long term under investment in our health service started by the British Tory government has had a serious impact on the capacity of our hospitals and on staffing levels and morale and equipment. Quick fixes and political opportunism will not resolve the problem.

"Craigavon Hospital, like many of the foundations of our health service requires substantially increased resources not just today but tomorrow and the day after. I would urge people against politicking with this issue and instead encourage people to add their voice to the demands for increased resources. Without this we will not deliver any improvements." ENDS

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