Full engagement needed from new Health Minister needed to tackle detox unit issue

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Sinn Fein Councillor, Elisha McCallion, said she intends to make sure new Health Minister, Jim Wells, engages with the people of Derry over any decision over a detoxification unit.

Colr. McCallion, who recently received news that former Health Minister, Edwin Poots, was willing to engage in discussions, said engagement from new minister, Mr. Wells, was required if the local issue of drug and alcohol addiction was to be tackled properly.

“I welcome the former minister’s words but in order for this to be tackled we have to have the full engagement of new Health Minister, Jim Wells.

“White Oaks is a vital treatment facility in the North West. The centre has a purpose built detoxification/stabilisation facility that is currently not in operation. I understand that the centre has a Service Level agreement with HSC in the 26 counties but no such similar contract is in existence with the health trusts or board in the North.

“There is much debate and demand about the need for detox facility in the North West when we have a purpose built facility which would not require capital investment but rather revenue and staff costs. This could be an excellent opportunity to show at first hand an example of how both health systems could work in co-operation,” said Colr. McCallion.