My fears that health service provision in Northern Ireland is being privatised

A letter from Gordon McNeill:

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 10:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 10:44 am
Letter to the editor

David Barbour’s letter (November 22, see link below) regarding the desperate state of our health service raises issues which will resonate with many members of the public.

I for one am convinced we are being driven toward a private healthcare system. Interestingly your picture adjoined to his letter shows Craigavon Area Hospital (CAH) entrance, the hospital which I attend. I have hearing difficulties and attended Audiology in CAH on September 8 for a routine servicing of my hearing aids.

I said my hearing had deteriorated since my last visit. I was told I would be put down for a hearing test. ‘You’ll receive a letter in two months, and your test will be in three to four months’ (that was 10 weeks ago, and still no appointment).

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I was astounded. The department was virtually empty; three patients, including myself, four staff I could see, where the department used to be full of both, and was run efficiently. In the past I was automatically put in the booth and had a hearing test before anything else was done.

So what has changed? Is Covid the reason given for this? Are the reports of nursing staff leaving wholesale, true? Will empty beds in the hospital be filled again?

A week ago we were told by CAH chief executive the hospital faced crisis. It appears it is not due to Covid, but due to mismanagement,or, the planned run-down of our NHS in Northern Ireland. These are questions which need to be answered at Stormont.

Gordon McNeill, Portadown

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