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The waiting game

Ministers 'miss the point' on patient choice agenda

An attack on an urgent care centre in Belfast has left a GP with an injured arm and led to calls for more protection for doctors working out of hours.

Dr Geraldine McKenna was showered with glass after thugs hurled a brick through the window of the centre at the Mater Hospital in North Belfast.

Dr McKenna, a GP in Belfast, said she was lucky she was facing away from the window at the time. She said 'It has made me concerned about working there again unless a safer environment can be guaranteed.'

Dr Brian Dunn, chair of GPC Northern Ireland, said GPs could not be expected to work in conditions where they may be attacked. If the incident was repeated, Dr Dunn said he would ask Eastern Health and Social Services Board to relocate the centre.

Dr Sandra Elliott, a GP in Omagh, was attacked as she left a centre in Craigavon, Armagh in November 2003.

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