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Loss of Nursing Posts

Part of Private Members’ Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 5:45 pm on 20th April 2009.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 5:45 pm, 20th April 2009

Basil McCrea called me “Mr Angry” earlier, but he does anger even better. We must tackle issues such as bed blocking and those consultants who use hospital facilities to operate semi-private services in the Health Service.

We do not need to be endangering the lives of expectant mothers by closing maternity units such as the one in Basil McCrea’s Lagan Valley constituency. I put it on the record today that the Royal Victoria Hospital, Antrim Area Hospital and Craigavon Area Hospital are not fit to cope with additional births.

If Mr McGimpsey proceeds with his plan, he will be putting the lives of expectant mothers and their children at risk as a consequence. We need to tackle those issues. Mr McGimpsey is pleased to tell the public that he can provide more money for Herceptin, free prescriptions and IVF. I am happy with all of those decisions — however, I am not happy if they are taken on the back of sacking nurses and doing away with 722 nursing posts. The Ulster Unionist Party may be proud of that, but I am wholly opposed to it. [Interruption.]