SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has written to the new Chief Constable George Hamilton to highlight concerns at the disruption caused to patients attending the out-of-hours Doctor service by a recent Orange Order Parade in Moneymore.
Mr McGlone said, “Following a recent Orange Order parade in Moneymore a local constituent contacted my office after experiencing serious difficulties accessing the out-of-hours GP in the town.
“My constituent’s baby had become unwell that evening, and fearing meningitis they were advised to take him to the Dalriada Medical Centre in Moneymore.
“This journey would usually take twenty minutes.
“Due to parade diversions in place around Moneymore and through Coagh, Magherafelt and Desertmartin, it took over an hour and a quarter for this young family to reach the medical centre.
“Fortunately on this occasion, after receiving treatment, the child is now recovering.
“The parents are understandably extremely upset at what happened. They have expressed serious concerns that if this type of lengthy delay should occur again another family might not be so fortunate.
“Nobody’s health should be put at risk for the sake of any parade. There should be clear guidelines in place to deal with a medical emergency.
“I have now written to the new Chief Constable seeking clarification on what plans the PSNI will put in place to prevent a similar situation arising in future, and to ensure that patients are able to access medical treatment unhindered.”