Mid and East Antrim to celebrate 70 years of NHS

Gregg McKeen.
Gregg McKeen.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to celebrate a significant milestone in the country’s health provision.

Members agreed at their May meeting to a motion proposed by Alderman Gregg McKeen to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS in July.

Cllr Cheryl Johnston.

Cllr Cheryl Johnston.

The motion read: “The NHS has delivered huge medical advances and improvements to public health, it has all but eradicated diseases such as polio and has pioneered new treatments, like the world’s first liver, heart and lung transplant.

“Given the success of the NHS, which paved the way for Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI), council should mark this anniversary, highlighting the tremendous good which has been done throughout the last 70 years.”

Seconding the proposal, the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Cheryl Johnston said: “I feel it appropriate that council mark this wonderful anniversary and council investigate the most appropriate way to do so.

“There is plenty opportunity to organise events such as NHS Big 7Tea for staff, retired staff, volunteers, patients, users, carers, local community groups and work with those in our community to say thank you for your dedication and service on the front line.”

Cllr Ruth Wilson.

Cllr Ruth Wilson.

Supporting the motion, TUV Cllr Ruth Wilson said: “ Looking forward – the future of the NHS raises many challenges with a growing and ageing population which means pressures on the service are greater than they have ever been. For the NHS to be fit for the future, Government need to invest in front-line services as we have all witnessed the impact the starvation of funds has had with soaring waiting lists and patients being denied vital cancer treatments and drugs.

“Our gift to the NHS as a council: we can introduce Healthy Town strategies – prevention is better than cure. As individuals we can become more active, eat healthy, cut out addiction causing substances, primarily alcohol and nicotine, attend NHS appointments when requested, take part in research if applicable, donate blood and organs, become an NHS Volunteer. All these small things could take some of the pressure off this vital service by using it wisely.”

Council is now to consider ways of celebrating the anniversary.