SDLP Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath has welcomed the installation of life-saving defibrillators at bus and train stations across the North.
SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced 134 defibrillators will be installed at over 80 locations.
The scheme is funded by Minister Mallon’s Department for Infrastructure and is being delivered in partnership with the British Heart Foundation and the NI Ambulance Service.
Mr McGrath had previously introduced an Assembly bill to ensure post-primary pupils would be taught CPR and how to use a defibrillator and withdrew it after the Department of Education accepted his proposals.
South Down MLA Mr McGrath said:
“I cannot underestimate the impact these defibrillators will have for people right across the North – they will save lives. Today’s announcement from SDLP Minister Mallon will result in a huge increase in the number of defibrillators available to help people when they suffer a cardiac incident and will greatly improve their chances of making a full recovery.
“The current survival rates of people in the North who suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital are less than 10%. This shocking figure inspired me to bring forward my bill to ensure every young person in the North was trained to assist someone when needed. The department’s adoption of my proposal, alongside the defibrillators provided by Minister Mallon will ensure that people have both the knowledge and tools to intervene in a medical emergency.
“This significant investment by Minister Mallon shows what we can achieve when we work together to improve the lives of people across the North. While other parties focus on internal battles and serving their own interests, the SDLP is determined to use every minute left of the current Assembly mandate to put people first and deliver on the issues that matter to them.”