February 13th: Unite lead officer for Health, Kevin McAdam, has urged members of his union to support the demonstration planned for this Saturday at Downpatrick against the further closure and reduction of services at the Downe Hospital in the town:
“The provision at Downe hospital is a vital community service which is being sacrificed for no other reason than to save money.
“The people of the wider Downpatrick community need and deserve a local hospital providing local services. The campaign that led to the establishment of the hospital succeeded through the power of community mobilisation putting the pressure on our political leaders to deliver. Now we are seeing an underhanded attempt to degrade services at Downe to the point that it can be closed quietly.
“This approach makes no economic sense coming just five years after the hospital was built. It fails to recognise the geographical necessity of retaining services in this region.
“Unite is calling on our members and their families to show up at 2pm on Saturday to demonstrate their support for the Downe and their opposition to the wider austerity cuts undermining the Health Service across Northern Ireland”, Mr McAdam concluded.