Calls for Minster to resign over cancer centre

Health Minister,Michael McGimpsey said the public should be alert but not alarmed following the decision by the World Health Organisation to declare a global pandemic.'Picture by Brian Little 11/6/09
Health Minister,Michael McGimpsey said the public should be alert but not alarmed following the decision by the World Health Organisation to declare a global pandemic.'Picture by Brian Little 11/6/09

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has been called on to resign after evidence emerged that funds are available to run the Altnagelvin cancer centre after all.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey came under further fire from Derry Stormont representatives this week - with Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson calling for his resignation - when Finance Minister Sammy Wilson contradicted his claim that no money is available to run the proposed satellite radiotherapy centre.

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said that Mr Wilson “surprisingly” stated in response to a parliamentary question that he had evidence from the Health Department from as early as December last year “outlining that even in the absence of funding from the Government in the Republic, the unit would still be affordable”. Mr Ramsey added: “The Minister for Health should now urgently seek to address the issue of the Altnagelvin Radiotherapy Unit in light of this revelation. There should be a clear commitment from the Minister to end the confusion over the proposed centre by finding the appropriate monies.”

Ms Anderson said: “It is scandalous that the health minister is playing political football with this issue. I think the health minister needs to go now and we need a minister to come into the Executive who will make decisions based on people’s needs and not try to make political gain with an issue as sensitive as cancer.”