Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin, who is also the chair of the Health committee, has asked for clarity as to why the priorities for additional funding for health as outlined to the Committee by departmental officials are at odds with what the Finance Minister has allocated.
Speaking today Ms McLaughlin said:
“The allocation of £52m to the Department of Health under the latest monitoring round is to be welcomed especially the £33m for the capital build projects.
“However beyond this the way in which the rest of the monies have been prioritised by the Finance Minister and the way the monies were prioritised by the Department is clearly at odds.
“Officials from the Department the Health Committee were pressed in recent weeks to outline their bids for any additional funding that could be obtained.
“Very clearly they laid out that their priorities were ranked as Clinical Negligence, the Transforming Your Care strategy followed thirdly by Elective Care.
“However today the additional funding granted in the monitoring round deals only with addressing Elective Care.
“Is there a communication breakdown? Has the Minister placed the emphasis in the wrong place or conveyed the wrong message to the Finance department while bidding for additional funds?
“These are only some of the questions that the Minister needs to provide clarity on. Over the past weeks we have seen decisions by the Minster challenged successfully in court and today there are unfortunately more questions for the Minister to answer.”