The South Belfast MLA said the latest reduction in the health budget was extremely concerning, as it means Trusts could not break even without a significant impact on patients.
“It is grossly improper Trusts are being asked to make such cuts with almost no notice because we cannot raise the funds elsewhere. Clearly the best solution would be for an Executive to be restored urgently and for it to raise the money from elsewhere to ensure the Health Service can operate to proper capacity and all social care packages remain in place.
“I am also deeply concerned, not least after chairing this week’s All-Party Group on Cancer at Stormont, people in Northern Ireland are being left behind on both drugs and treatments. This is not just a matter of finance but also of finding ways to coordinate drugs and treatments more efficiently so everyone has access on an equal basis with the rest of the UK.
“While I appreciate this is not the ideal starting point, I will be seeking assurances from the Permanent Secretary action is being taken to deliver equality of access to treatment and to restrict the severity of the impact of cuts to Trust budgets.”