Bradshaw expects extra health money to be given to Trusts

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed additional money being made available to the health service, saying she expects it to be an eleventh hour reprieve against proposed cuts to the health Trusts.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after the Department of Finance proposed an extra £40 million to go to the Department of Health, subject to ratification by a Budget Bill. She said while the money was welcome, the question remained as to why the health Trust consultations were carried out.

“I expect the extra money from this Monitoring Round to go to the Trusts, which were having to introduce higher impact savings measures following a recent consultation into their services. This overdue clarification means cuts which would have had a serious impact on people’s wellbeing and quality of life need not happen.

“However, the question is why the Trusts were required to initiate and pursue the charade of this consultation process, when growing indications of exactly this amount of money being made available for health have persisted for the past number of weeks. Staff, patients and families have had worries stoked up for no reason.

“There should be no illusions we remain in a precarious position, despite this money. While this stands down the proposed frontline cuts, we still need to reform the system, ensure more can be done in primary care to bring down waiting lists, and consider what other savings can be made across government to ensure we can maintain a high quality health service free at point of access.”

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