Aontú Deputy Leader Cllr Denise Mullen has hit out the scandalous 59% reduction in available hospital beds in Hospitals in Mid Ulster, and the complete gutting of healthcare capacity in the North of Ireland.

Cllr Mullen:

“In figures secured by my party colleague Cllr Emmet Doyle, we were able to see first-hand the regional devastation of cuts to the healthcare capacity of the North. It is shocking to see the complete destruction of our healthcare capacity and violation of our right to healthcare. In 2010, in Mid Ulster, there were only 78 available beds in hospitals. Today there are only 32 of those beds remaining – a 59% reduction in capacity. From 2010 to 2012, 48 beds were cut. The story is the same across the North. In South Tyrone, there are only 22 beds available – a 50% cut from the high of 45 available beds. In Tyrone & Fermanagh, there 98 available beds which is now down to 41 available beds – a 59% reduction in capacity. Even the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre has seen its beds reduced by 57% from 90 beds to 39. The story is the same.”

“Why then are we surprised by stories of patients being treated in hospital car parks, or lines of ambulance queued at A&Es awaiting treatment or space – whichever comes first. All the while the Assembly have been so ineffective that they can’t even ensure that the number of available beds in hospitals are not devastated. We are in the midst of a pandemic, where the North has had to shut down for months on end because many of its hospitals are operating at nigh on 100% capacity. The people of the North are paying the price for the cuts to their basic rights to healthcare by the parties in the Executive: Sinn Féin, the SDLP, DUP and UUP. How can our healthcare rights be protected by our elected representatives when those representatives are the exact persons undermining those rights?”