Alliance East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has expressed his ‘utter dismay’ at proposed cuts of up to £70 million to health services in Northern Ireland.
On Thursday 25th August, the five health trusts each had an emergency meeting to discuss how services can be cut to meet a Health Department’s requirement to save £70 million, £13 million of which may come from the Northern Health Trust’s budget. Commenting on the emergency meetings Mr Dickson said: “We have already been through too many years of underfunding and missed opportunities to reform the Health Service, we cannot continue to neglect services - something has to give.
“Health care personnel have been contacting my office and informing us time and again of severe pressure on services, unbelieveable waiting times, people left waiting on trolleys, delayed ambulances and poor staffing practices. £13 million further cuts from the Northern Health Trust will undoubtedly only make the situation worse. The people of East Antrim deserve better, and we need a government to sort this issue and take the extreme pressure off the system.
“It is high time for the DUP and Sinn Fein to engage, and get back into government, people are suffering, the last thing they need are tired old talking points, or worse still, another election! A new health minister can help fix this situation and give the health service the funding and support that it desperately needs. In fact, this could be done next week if the DUP and Sinn Fein would only put the people of Northern Ireland above their childish political games.
“The Trust is running a consultation on how these cuts can be made, and I urge people to contribute, and express their opposition to such damaging cuts.”
Information on the NHSCT Consultation is available here.