Your chance to join heart debate

IT'S time to have your say over heart attack care.Tomorrow evening everyone is invited to listen to a heated debate between Ipswich's MP, Chris Mole, and his rival for the seat, Conservative Ben Gummer.

IT'S time to have your say over heart attack care.

Tomorrow evening everyone is invited to listen to a heated debate between Ipswich's MP, Chris Mole, and his rival for the seat, Conservative Ben Gummer.

The event will give the public the chance to ask probing questions and hear two professional politicians stage a vital war of words.

The free event is being hosted by Suffolk County Council at its Endeavour House headquarters in Russell Road, Ipswich, and doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

Today the two debaters are gearing up for the confrontation, preparing facts, and testing arguments over the highly contentious plan to treat emergency heart attack victims outside Suffolk.

Mr Mole, who has been widely criticised by his constituents for backing the move, said: “I have always been happy to discuss this issue, or any other, with the people I represent. I welcome this opportunity to put my position across to the people of Ipswich and answer their important questions and concerns.

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“MPs are above all answerable to their constituents and that's why events like this are vital. I'm looking forward to hearing what people have to say, and taking the opportunity to put some minds at rest.”

Meanwhile Mr Gummer, who has campaigned for a specialist heart attack centre to be set up in Ipswich, said: "The future of emergency heart care in Ipswich is enormously important for the town.

“I am very pleased, therefore, that Mr Mole and I can have this debate in public, so that we can put our arguments to the people.

“And even if we disagree about the future of the hospital, our debate will show how democracy should be - reasonable, local and direct."

Should politicians debate in public more often? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Heart attack debate

Currently emergency heart attack victims are given clot-busting drugs by paramedics or in hospital

The plans would see them instead taken to specialist primary angioplasty centres set up in Norwich, Papworth in Cambridgeshire, and Basildon in Essex.

Health bosses at the East of England Specialised Commissioning Group and Strategic Health Authority say primary angioplasty gives people more chance of survival than the drugs.

But to be effective any heart attack treatment needs to be given as quickly as possible.

In Suffolk patients, politicians and doctors have expressed fears that the long distances people will face for treatment could put them at risk.