Protesters march in support of Newry services at Daisy Hill Hospital

Newry protesters

To show their opposition to a curtailment of services at Daisy Hill Hospital, a sizable protesting group marched through Newry.

Their protest is in response to information that suggested changes resulting from a consultant shortage may result in a decrease in hospital beds.

Inpatient services at the hospital have reportedly been stabilized over the summer, according to the Southern Health Trust.

However, protesters argued that the plan would not be sufficient.

An aerial view of the protesters marching past Daisy Hill Hospital
On Sunday afternoon, the protesters passed Daisy Hill Hospital as they marched.

It requires relying on the assistance of three senior medical advisors from Craigavon Area Hospital.

In a statement made last week, the Southern Health Trust promised to collaborate with the Department of Health to "secure the longer-term sustainability of the hospital.".

We're in summer now, which is the quieter season, said Dr. Tayo Idowu, a general practitioner in Newry, to BBC News NI.

Dr Tayo Idowu
The hospital needs a longer-term strategy, according to Dr. Tayo Idowu.

When winter arrives, will those consultants be present?

According to him, Daisy Hill Hospital's services were not going to be sustained by the health trust in the long run.

"There needs to be more," he continued, "although I welcome it in the interim.

Francis Gallagher
Francis Gallagher worries that major services will be cut from Daisy Hill.

The campaign organization SOS Daisy Hill's Francis Gallagher stated: "There is a lot of talk about transformation of care, but our concern is that this is a cover for closing neighborhood hospitals. ".

Due to the size of the area it serves, he claimed Daisy Hill must continue to provide its acute services, such as the emergency room.

On Sunday afternoon, the demonstrators congregated in the city center of Newry, where they heard speeches from activists before proceeding to the hospital.

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