Upper Bann MLA John O’Dowd has welcomed confirmation from the Health Minister, Michelle O’ Neill, that her department intends to invest a total of £25.8m in upgrading facilities and services at Craigavon Area hospital over the next year.
This information came about as a result of an Assembly question tabled by Mr O’Dowd.
Speaking about the investment Mr O’ Dowd said: “The confirmation of a £25.8m investment in the upgrading of the electrical capacity and mechanical infrastructure of the hospital as well as the Paediatric ward and Ambulance Care unit is welcome news for staff and patients. It is also further confirmation that Craigavon Area Hospital is and will remain a centre of acute and general hospital services.
“I am aware the hospital management are seeking a major refurbishment of the hospital in coming years which will require a significant investment. I intend to lobby on their behalf to ensure that investment is secured and Craigavon Area Hospital is ready for another generation of patients and staff.”
Stormont Health Committee member and Upper Bann MLA Jo-Anne Dobson said the investment was “vital”.
“Continued investment in our Health Service infrastructure and staff is vital to ensure that the service is prepared and ready to meet the future health needs of local people,” said Mrs Dobson.
“I commend the Southern Trust as they look to the future and know that when completed the new Children’s Hospital will open an exciting new chapter for Craigavon Hospital. As a member of the Health Committee I will ensure that the needs of our local Trust are kept to the fore at Stormont.
“While this on-going investment at Craigavon Hospital is helping to address risks as well as enabling the Hospital to plan for the future it’s equally vital to ensure that investment continues for our health professionals at all levels.
“The dedicated care of our Healthcare staff is second to none, but as we look to the future it is very clear that a new workforce planning strategy is required and I will be working hard at Stormont to ensure that the new Minister and the Department of Health treat this issue as a priority.”