Ulster Unionist Health spokesperson Roy Beggs has welcomed the news that funding has been allocated to build a new Children’s Hospital at the site of the Royal Victoria Hospital, but stated his regret that the money could not have been found earlier by the Finance Minister when Michael McGimpsey was Health Minister.
Mr Beggs said;
“A new Children’s Hospital is badly needed and the entire community will obviously welcome news that the money has been found.
In the last Assembly the Ulster Unionist Health Minister Michael McGimpsey continually lobbied for funding for a new Children’s Hospital.
I can recall that in February 2011 McGimpsey asked for more money only for the First Minister to react by describing such requests as “obscene”.
Fortunately that attitude has moderated now that a DUP Minister is in charge of Health and in an answer received by my Party Leader Mike Nesbitt less than two weeks ago it was revealed that the total additional funding received by the Health department since May 2011 since in relation to current expenditure, amounted to £87.6 million plus a further £139.5 million received since May 2011 in relation to capital expenditure. That makes a total of £227.1 million prior to today’s funding announcement.
Had the money been made available to Michael McGimpsey we would be a few years further down the line towards completion.”