Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “These figures are shocking and illustrate a disturbing trend. I am very annoyed about this culture of cost-cutting which may be leading to corners being cut in the Health service. At the moment there seems to exist a mindset of cutting spending across the board at all costs.
“I also want to pay tribute to local healthcare professionals as they are working hard under extremely difficult conditions. Local staff are being stretched to the limit because of cuts and more must be done to assist them.
“The main priority simply has to be providing the best health service possible, not conducting these constant economy drives which we see in the NHS locally.
“The spotlight will soon be on the new devolved Health Minister. They must tackle this matter head-on and move to improve the service through extra investment.”