Ulster Unionists have said that it is important parents and children from Northern Ireland awaiting cardiac procedures get an acceptable solution to the current situation soon; after it was revealed that the review into the future of childrens’ cardiac services in Belfast has been delayed.
Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, Ulster Unionist Health spokesperson, said:
“This news will be deeply frustrating for the parents of children awaiting surgery who find themselves in limbo. The last thing they will want to hear is that the wait for an acceptable solution to the current situation is now extended. I know many local families who are outraged by the uncertainty.’
“This is a deeply emotive issue as it affects children with life threatening conditions. I hope that this review, with outcomes that are the right ones for the children in Northern Ireland requiring cardiac procedures, can be published soon.
Robin Swann MLA, Chair of the All Party Group on Congenital Heart Disease, said:
“I have met with the International panel appointed to undertake this review. I found them to be interested and understanding of the situation, especially in the case of children having to travel to mainland GB to undergo surgery.’
“When you look at the number of children from Northern Ireland now being operated on in Dublin compared to those on the UK mainland, Dublin may not have the capacity to operate on an increased number of children from Northern Ireland –this may be the crux of the problem, which would need addressed.’
“However, I do welcome that surgeons from Dublin are now coming up to Belfast to carry out surgery -this is a service we need to see increased.”