There has been widespread welcome for Finance Minister Sammy Wilson’s anouncement of a £28.5million investment at Altnagelvin Hospital.
However SDLP spokesperson for health, Foyle MLA Mark H. Durkan, warned that existing health service jobs must still be protected.
The £28.5m additional investment will allow for the provision of six new wards and complement the £50m investment already pledged for the new cross border radiotherapy unit.
Northern Ireland First Minister, Peter Robinson, said the announcement on Tuesday of a total of £330m investment for the A5, Altnagelvin Hospital and a new hospital in Omagh was proof of Stormont’s intent and willingness to invest in the North West.
Western Trust Chairman, Gerard Guckian said: “The announcement of additional capital funding for health in the west is a great news story for patients accessing services right across the Trust area.”
The capital injection will fund the relocation of beds from the 50 year-old Altnagelvin Hospital Tower Block to state-of-the-art ward accommodation.
Western Trust Chief Executive, Elaine Way added: “I am also delighted with the news on the A5 road infrastructure announcement.
“The roads infrastructure enhancement is much needed. It will improve the linkages between the hospitals located in the west and therefore reduce patient travelling times.”
Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has also welcomed the announcement stating: “The news that Altnagelvin is to get a new hospital wing is welcome given the number of people who are now accessing it for treatment.”
The Sinn Féin MLA said: “As a regional hospital Altnagelvin caters for people right across the North West including residents of Derry, Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh.
“Over the past few years capacity at the hospital has been under pressure and this new wing will help relieve that strain.”
SDLP Health Spokesperson and Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has welcomed confirmation of the investment, saying: “The investment in a new hospital for Omagh is also very positive and will enable that project to be brought forward by a year thereby improving healthcare provision for people in the area.
“While we welcome that these investments will stimulate job creation, it is vital that the Executive shows the same committment to protecting existing health service jobs in this area of high unemployment, particularly given the senseless proposals to relocate administration jobs out of Derry.”