Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Expanding all-Ireland approach to healthcare can make a huge difference

10 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Carál Ní Chuilín MLA has called on Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to speed up the development of all-Ireland approach to the delivery of healthcare in order to secure greater provision and cost savings.

Ms Ní Chuilín said:

"The concerns about the pressures on the draft Health Budget are well documented.

"Sinn Féin are particularly concerned at the possibility that in a number of key areas, including mental health, Michael McGimspey will not deliver the required levels of provision.

"There are two key strategies to addressing these pressures beyond 'efficiency savings'. The expansion of the of all-Ireland approach to the delivery of healthcare and the full implementation of Bairbre de Brún's Investing for Health Strategy are both central to making a real difference to the health of people and delivering the health service that people deserve.

"During her tenure as Health Minister, Bairbre de Brun faced the same financial same realities. She introduced the radical, far-thinking Investing for Health Strategy, in a bid to tackle the root causes of ill-health. Long term improvement of the population's health will only be achieved if we tackle those root causes of discrimination, poverty and social exclusion. Investing for Health ensured for the first time that the health and well-being of the population became the responsibility of the entire Executive. Sinn Féin believe that all Departments set about ensuring Investing for Health becomes a cornerstone of their work. Failure to do so will condemn future generations to a continued environment of ill-health.

"Health is an area of cooperation under the Good Friday Agreement. This is to the benefit of the people of the island. This must be exploited to its maximum potential especially for those communities straddling the border. Running two heath services back to back is in itself a waste of limited resources.

"Clearly economies of scale, particularly in relation to the development of regional centres, and cross border services can allow wider access and excellence." ENDS

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