Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) confirmed it is exploring the possibility of patients from the North accessing ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) treatment in the south.
The Foyle MLA said:
“I raised the lack of ECMO machines here in the North because I am aware of local patients who may require this treatment but have been told they would need to fly to England in order to receive it.
“A plane journey for a critically-ill patient is distressing and dangerous is any circumstances but given the current COVID-19 restrictions and the mounting pressures on health services, it is even more challenging.
“Therefore I urged the health authorities to explore alternative options for patients who may require ECMO treatment.
“Sinn Féin has pressed the health minister to make provision for this treatment in the north. We will continue to do so.
“The Health and Social Care Board in the south has now said it is exploring opportunities for people in the North to access care in a southern hospital.
“That is a positive commitment as ECMO treatment should be available to all those who need it on the island of Ireland.”