SDLP Leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie yesterday (October 5th) addressed healthcare workers on the picket line against the reduction of services at the Downe Hospital in Downpatrick.
Speaking from Downe Hospital, Ms Ritchie said, “The SDLP stands in solidarity with the workers today in your fight against the removal of services and jobs. Our community requires a first class health service and we will not accept the removal and reduction of our healthcare services.
“Health care provision cannot be compromised and no circumstances justify a reduction in the provision of our care in Northern Ireland
“Communities need accessible health services and if services are to be of a high quality they must be adequately staffed. The minster must take a step back from this Tory agenda of slash and burn, and look again at the services and jobs that are vital to a healthy and prosperous economy.
“Ensuring our health service survives the current economic crisis and supporting it should be the key priority for Minister Poots, rather than reducing and weakening the service at a time when the community needs it the most,” added Ms Ritchie.