Save our SWAH A&E Surgery!
Save our SWAH A&E Surgery!
Why this petition matters
We oppose any threat to take away emergency surgery from South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen.
If there is no emergency surgery at SWAH, any ambulance driving an expectant mother needing urgent surgery, a road accident victim or anyone else, will have to drive past SWAH and all the way to Altnagelvin or to Craigavon.
From parts of Fermanagh - it can take over two hours to get to either hospital. When SWAH was built we were told it was needed to ensure the Golden Hour to save lives - indeed things have moved on to the 'Golden 45 minutes' but that doesn't seem to apply in Fermanagh and Tyrone.
If emergency surgery is lost, the impact will be counted by the hundreds of Fermanagh and Tyrone residents who will die as a result. But it seems that our lives don't matter to the Ministers in Stormont in charge of our health services.
SWAH cost taxpayers £712 million to build - but now our acute hospital faces downgrading by Stormont. So does our community: if we lose emergency surgery we will lose all other acute services over time. These services are interlinked and there is a domino effect.
If we lose emergency surgery, over time we will lose anaesthetics, cardiology, maternity and stroke. The hospital will left as a shell - but that has always been the plan for some in the Dept of Health as evidenced by the Donaldson and Bengoa reports which called for downgrading acute hospitals.
If we lose our acute hospital, the last person to leave Fermanagh and West Tyrone needs to turn the lights off.
Who will want to come back home to start a family without knowing acute services are within driving distance? Who would ever want to retire to somewhere without acute health services?
We demand access to life-saving emergency surgery. You cannot play with words and tell us that there is such a thing as an emergency department without emergency surgery.
This is not about a failure to attract surgeons or staff. It's about how our NHS has been carved out by private companies and individuals seeking to make the biggest possible profits. Health services in rural areas like Fermanagh and Tyrone are not of interest to them.
Defending our NHS Emergency Surgery
We the people of Fermanagh and Tyrone have beat the Department and the establishment before when they tried to take away our health services. We know that we can beat them again.
We are asking that you share this link and encourage your friends and neighbours to sign it. We need to get the word out, to make sure everyone knows about this threat and raises their voice before they announce the closure. This is only the first stage in our campaign but if they don't back down - we warn those in power that we will not be walked on. Our lives are at stake - we must stand up for ourselves!
This petition is jointly launched by Save our SWAH Services and Fermanagh Save Our Services.
- Health Minister Robin SwannMinister for Department of Health