Lagan Valley TUV candidate Samuel Morrison has pledged his support for the Lagan Valley Hospital.
Whilst out canvassing with TUV leader Jim Allister, Mr Morrison said: “Having had personal experience of using Lagan Valley I am only too well aware of its importance to the area.
“Just over a year ago I had to bring my wife there when she was in the early stages of labour and the staff at Lagan Valley picked up on an issue which resulted in her being immediately admitted to the Ulster.
“Thankfully both mother and baby emerged from the experience fit and well but that is due in no small part to the professionalism and dedication of staff at Lagan Valley.
“I am therefore deeply concerned about the continued rundown of essential services at Lagan Valley.
“The reduction in bed numbers is, I believe, a major factor when it comes to the seemingly ever lengthening waiting times which people are experiencing.
“Shamefully, Lagan Valley has seen its number of beds slashed by a third in the last five years.
“Similarly we have seen the A&E unit reduced to part-time. No one knows when an emergency can arise.
“It can happen at any time of the day or night and it is understandable therefore that people find it hard to understand the reduction in these essential services - the blame for which lies with the DUP Minister in Stormont.
“The continued delays surrounding the proposed new minor injuries unit has added to public unease about the future of the hospital and I will fight to see this necessary investment.
“I recognise that that public finances are under pressure but with Stormont able to squander millions of pounds on useless North-South bodies, and welfare fines due to our failed system of government I find it amazing that the necessary finances cannot be found to fund a unit which would pay for itself in the long term by taking the pressure off A and E units.
“From going round the doors I know that there is a widespread belief that Lagan Valley Hospital is being gradually run down.
“People can best register their opposition to the ongoing downgrading of this essential local service by casting their vote for TUV in the upcoming election.
“A vote for the party which has presided over the continued erosion of services at Lagan Valley will show that they can continue with their existing policy without any fear of a local backlash.”