The Bangor Councillor said that while the decision to allow the MIU to remain open was the ‘right one for health care across North Down’, he further questioned the Minister’s rationale behind the decision as on-going budget cuts continues to place mounting pressure on the Ulster Hospital.
Councillor Stuart Anderson said: “I welcome the decision to keep the Bangor MIU open for the foreseeable future. This is the right decision for health care across North Down, relieving addition pressure on the emergency department at the Ulster Hospital. The news is particularly welcome for vulnerable and elderly constituents who would otherwise have had to travel to the Ulster Hospital for treatment.
“However it is disappointing that the 20-bed GP ward is still set to close. This move will place long-term pressure on the Ulster Hospital, despite the Minister’s claim his about turn on his previous MIU decision came through a desire to relieve pressure on the Dundonald-based hospital.
“Northern Ireland remains in a serious financial situation, with further cuts expected to all departments – including health. As the Minister was able to reverse his decision major cuts will have to be made elsewhere.
“I have written to both the DUP Minister for Health, Jim Wells and the Chief Executive of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust seeking urgent clarification as to what services, and indeed how our most vulnerable constituents, may now be affected as a consequence.”