2:02pm Friday 17th January 2014
A MILFORD Haven schoolgirl is appealing to health bosses to keep essential services at Withybush Hospital.
Nine-year-old Megan Rickard has written to health minister Mark Drakeford and health board chief executive Trevor Purt to re-think plans to move some children’s services to Carmarthen.
After learning about human rights as part of her role as a super ambassador, Megan became interested in the United Nations Convention in the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which states that ‘the best interests of the child must be a top priority in all actions concerning children’.
Exercising Article 12 of the act, which states that ‘every child has the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously’, Megan decided to write to the pair, listing her concerns.
In the letter - written on ‘bright pink paper to attract attention’ - Megan said she believed downgrading in services in Pembrokeshire would affect local children and their families.
“Carmarthen is a long way away when you are sick,” she said.
“Whatever you decide to do you must make sure that children both born and unborn in Pembrokeshire will be looked after as best they can be, and that when we are sick we will be looked after as we do now if not better.
“We are the future; all we ask is that you help us to get there as healthy and safely as possible.”
Mr Drakeford has replied to Megan’s letter, adding that he “understands the worries that people might have at the moment” but that, as yet, “no decisions have yet been taken about the future of services at Withybush Hospital”.
But Mr Purt has so far not responded.
“I would say to him check your email and you must check your post,” said Megan.
As part of her campaign, St Francis RC school head girl Megan has also started a petition, which has been sent out to schools across the county, asking all pupils to oppose the potential move.
Megan, who hopes to become Prime Minister one day, and cites Pakistani schoolgirl and activist Malala Yousafzai as her "hero", said it was important to speak up for other people.
“People are a bit shy and don’t want to write themselves, but now they can sign my petition and Mr Drakeford can see how many kids care about the hospital,” she said.
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