South Down SDLP MLA Seán Rogers says the people of South Down are being failed by the current lack of access to health care.
Mr Rogers said: “It is time for the Minister to accept that the Out-of-Hours and Accident & Emergency services are not functioning to meet the needs of the people. Reports of patients waiting for up to ten hours for a call back while local A&E services are either closed or full beyond capacity has unfortunately become the new norm in recent times.
“In addition to this we are now living under the veiled threat that A&E services at Daisy Hill may be further compromised if adequate middle grade doctors cannot be recruited.
“Enough is enough. Now is the time for some real honest debate. We can no longer tolerate announcements of bed closures in superior wards such as the Downe hospital only to witness consequential bed shortages at other locations as patients are forced to present elsewhere.
“I together with my Party colleagues will be challenging the Minister to secure a workable resolution. We must use all the resources we have to urgently restore some normality to this crisis.”