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Lifford Hospital in line for reprieve
LIFFORD Community Hospital may be in line for a reprieve if it extends its remit to cater for patients from the Strabane area, it has emerged.
A North South Committee is to examine the situation after Health Minister James Reilly and Northern Assembly Health Minister Edwin Poots recently discussed the issue.
A memo issued by the HSE’s Head of Acute Services, John Hayes said a report on the cost of care is now being examined with the report due to be published in September.
Deputy Joe McHugh who is Chairman of the Oireachtas Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee this week welcomed the move.
Deputy McHugh said that the HSE memorandum on Lifford Community Hospital noted that the consultation process regarding future service delivery at the hospital is to be deferred, to allow for a number of reasons including exploration of cross-border options for service delivery.
“This deferral of the commencement date for the consultation process regarding future service delivery at Lifford Community Hospital is welcome.
“The potential benefits of cross-border co-operation in healthcare are obvious, and increasing collaboration in healthcare provision is a key policy objective of the Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
“I met with Minister for Health James Reilly last Wednesday, shortly after he had participated with NI Minister for Health Edwin Poots in a North-South Ministerial Council meeting that discussed mechanisms for increased co-operation between Enniskillen, Sligo, Letterkenny and Altnagelvin Hospitals,” Deputy McHugh said.
Last Wednesday Minister Reilly updated the Carrigart Deputy on the discussions that had taken place at that day’s North-South Ministerial Council meeting about potentially utilising Lifford Community Hospital as a service provider for the Strabane district.
“This HSE announcement follows on from those discussions. Minister Reilly and Minister Poots are serious about examining this link between Lifford and Strabane as a way of keeping the Community Hospital open in Lifford,” he said.