Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

"South West Acute Hospital needs to deliver cross-border orthopaedic surgery" - Flanagan

Published: 23 July, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has renewed his call for orthopaedic surgery to be delivered in South West Acute Hospital to facilitate a reduction in the current waiting times across the wider Western Trust area.

Mr Flanagan said,

"Currently, patients from the Fermanagh, Tyrone and surrounding areas have to travel to Derry or Belfast to receive orthopaedic surgery. For many, this can mean a return journey of over 200miles and in numerous cases, in severe pain.

"There is clearly space available within the hospital to allow this work to take place but the Trust continues to hide behind claims that they cannot offer surgery in both Derry and Enniskillen.

"However, if this was to be implemented in Enniskillen, the most obvious option is to offer it on a cross-border basis, to counties such as South Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan therefore ensuring there is a demand for it but also that it is justifiable, financially.

"This area has a population base large enough to justify and sustain a service of this nature, but because of the existence of the border, and the back-to-back planning involved with the current scenario, this option is not being pursued on either side of the border.

"Some patients are waiting over 18months for routine surgery and it is unacceptable that a state of the art hospital like the South West Acute cannot provide this basic service.

The Fermanagh South Tyrone MLA continues,

"Upon raising this issue with the former Health Minister Jim Wells in May, he informed me that there were no plans to provide orthopaedic surgery in the South West Acute Hospital. However given the revelations of consistently lengthy waiting lists this week; I would call on Minister Simon Hamilton to review this decision.

"These lengthy waiting lists result in increased pain for patients and increased costs for the health service and therefore I am calling on the Minister to implement cross border orthopaedic surgery as a matter of priority." ENDS