Over forty million pounds will be the total cost of the downgrade of services at the Mid Ulster Hospital if everything goes ahead as planned, according to a local campaign group.
Hugh McCloy, Chairman of Save The Mid-Ulster Hospital said "According to our research, the total cost will be over £40 million"
Health Minister Edwin Poots has recently admitted that the closure of A&E services has:" saved the Department of Health no money whatsoever"
Hugh McCloy said that the cost of converting the Mid-Ulster Hospital would be £25 million, the extra cost to the ambulance service would be £875,000 and the remaining amount of the £40 million figure could be accounted for by the costs incurred developing the Antrim Area Hospital to cope with the extra patients coming their way.
The development of Antrim Area Hospital, he said, included erecting two porta-cabins to house medical beds on a temporary basis, a 24 bed extra ward and a new emergency department due for 2013. He used figures provided by by the current Health Minister, Edwin Poots and his predecessor Michael McGimpsey.
He said" To shut the Mid, originally was going to cost £25 million; according tot he old health minister (Michael McGimpsey) to convert the Mid Ulster Hospital into a health centre. If this will go ahead is unsure, but dentistry and cataract services are now in the Mid Ulster Hospital.
"On top of that is a cost of £875,000 on the ambulance service, £408,000 on two porta-cabins for the winter 2011/12 to be used for temporary beds, £5 million for the 24 bed extra ward and £9 million for the new A&E."
"In total that brings us up to £40,283,000 to make the changes, remove acute services and inpatients from Mid Ulster and develop Antrim."
Mr McCloy also pointed out to the cost of the Toome Bypass. He said "The Toome Bypass was also featured highly in the case for closing the Mid, I don't know if the price tag could be added but it was definitely a facftor."
Including the Toome Bypass as a part of the overall cost of removing services at the Mid Ulster would add many extra millions to the figure quoted by Mr McCloy.