COUNCILLORS have backed a proposal to convene a special meeting with the Health Minister regarding the removal of Emergency General Surgery (EGS) at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH). 

The proposal was brought forward by SDLP Councillor Adam Gannon at last week's meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council during discussions about the restoration of Stormont. 

Seconded by party colleague, Councillor Garbhan McPhillips, the proposal calls for an in-person meeting with Minister Robin Swann to discuss the restoration of EGS at Fermanagh's main hospital. 

Emergency surgery was removed in November, 2022, and before powersharing collapsed in Northern Ireland, Mr. Swann urged that "no stone was left unturned" when it came to recruiting surgeons at the SWAH.

However, almost two years on, no progress has been made to see the service restored. 

"As we now have an Executive, I think it's timely to revisit the issue of EGS at the SWAH," said Councillor Gannon.

"I think we can all agree that the current situation is life-threatening."

He claimed: "It's a a life-threatening situation for people here and of this district, and the [Western] Trust haven't even tried to begin planning for return. That's a disgrace. 

"Now there is a Minister [for Health], it will be his duty to bring that service back.

"There is a high level of public interest in this, and public engagement with the Minister is vital and important.

"I propose we invite Robin Swann to attend a Special Council Meeting to discuss issues surrounding the withdrawal of EGS, and to discuss how the plans to bring the service back," added Councillor Gannon.