SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone,
has called on the Northern Health Trust to reverse its share of £70million
proposed cuts to health services. The Mid Ulster MLA was speaking after the
Department of Finance announced that it had allocated an additional
£40million to the Department of Health for this financial year in the latest
budget monitoring round.
Mr McGlone said, “The announcement by
the Department of Finance that an additional £40million will be available
for the Department of Health this year removes the immediate need for the
majority of the cuts being proposed by the Health Trusts.
“The proposed cuts under consideration
by the Northern Health Trust, in particular, would have a disproportionate
impact on rural communities.
“As well as the removal of existing
services at Mid Ulster and Whiteabbey hospitals, there would be a further
impact on waiting lists for hospital care.
“The Trust has acknowledged that the
proposed cuts would also result in increased delays in discharging patients
from hospital, putting more pressure on already under-resourced staff in a
highly centralised system.
“The SDLP opposes these cuts to health
services. The Northern Health Trust should immediately stop their proposed
cuts and lobby the Department for an appropriate share of the newly
“The SDLP want to see a properly
funded local NHS delivering a first-class health service.
“That, ultimately, requires the
restoration of the Executive and a locally accountable Health Minister.
“We urge the parties blocking that to
make the compromises necessary to restore devolution, and call on the
Northern Trust to review these unnecessary cuts to health services.”