Sinn Féin Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, Maeve McLaughlin MLA said today that the crisis in the health service is a direct consequence of the Tory government systematically cutting funding for the health service.
Maeve McLaughlin said:
“The Tory cuts of billions of pounds for essential services have caused the crisis in the health service and reduced budgets right across departments.
“The DUP has supported these Tory cuts which have been about stripping out the National Health Service.
“The current crisis has nothing at all to do with the issue of welfare cuts which Sinn Féin successfully resisted during the monitoring round. Otherwise departments would have faced an additional £87 million of cuts.
“The health budget was protected and an additional £20m was allocated to health. Sinn Féin proposed additional funding for health but the finance minister allocated it to DETI.
“No decision has been made yet on the October monitoring round and Edwin Poots knows well that he needs to bring in any bid for resources to the Executive.
“Mr Poots also suggested today on air that maybe he is not the man for the health job, if this is so then he and his party leader should immediately consider his future.
“His comments today follow criticism from his party colleague, the finance minister, about an over spend by Edwin Poots of £13.1m and his failure to spend £10.2m of capital funding.
“Edwin Poots declared that failure too late for the Executive to reallocate that funding to other areas which are facing cuts.
“The Department of Health requires clear leadership in what is a very challenging time for all Executive departments because of the Tory cuts the DUP has supported.
“It’s much too important to be held hostage to internal unionist bickering.” CRÍOCH/END