Health budget for 2018/19 needs to be set – Beggs

Following the additional £40m to alleviate Health pressures, East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has highlighted the need for a 2018/19 budget to be put in place and the predicted Health pressures of around £430m to be addressed.

Roy Beggs MLA, UUP Health Spokesperson said:

“It was welcome news from the NHSCT on Friday that the 2 rehabilitation wards at Whiteabbey Hospital have received a reprieve in this financial year and that domiciliary care cuts will not be made. Indeed, the Northern Trust advise that all of their major/controversial proposals apart from car parking charges, will not be implemented.

Annual costs for health care go up by around 6% each year so the reality is millions of additional funds need to be secured for health care to stand still.

“With the potential for additional health budget pressures of £430m next year, additional resources and reforms in healthcare will be required to provide long term improvement and avoid damaging in year cuts from being repeated.”

“Cuts to our healthcare put lives at risk at a time when pressures on our hospitals and their staff are at breaking point. I again reiterate my call that we should appoint Executive Ministers so local accountability and decision making can occur on issues such as health budget decisions. Having a functioning Executive here in Northern Ireland will also open up additional funding streams from London for Health totalling hundreds of millions. Failing that happening, it’s time for some form of Direct Rule so that health decisions can be taken.”
“It is imperative that we prioritise funding for essential services in next year’s budget.

“While others push for funding to promote pet projects like the Irish language, I and my colleagues will be focused on meeting the needs of health and education. Our waiting lists are already far too long and health procedures are more important than translators.”

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