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Sinn Féin critical of Eastern Health Trust cuts to services

28 April, 2008

Sinn Féin councillor Liam Johnston has condemned the decision by the South Eastern Health Trust to proceed with £10 million efficiency savings.

And the Downpatrick councillor has claimed that the move is driven primarily by financial considerations rather than health care needs.

Councillor Johnston's comments follow a meeting of the Trust's Board last week.

The Sinn Féin representative said:

"The Department of Health has approved efficiency savings proposed by the Board.

"These savings represent a reduction in spending for year one of a three year drive to reduce spending on health of people living in the South Eastern area.

"A decision on further savings for years two and three is expected by this summer."

Describing the decision as mean and premature, Councillor Johnston continued:

"This decision discredits the Trust's commitment to public consultation.

"Ignoring the opinion of the people in the area, expressed through their political representatives and by the Down Community Health Forum, it shows that the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey, is merely following the same agenda as the direct rule ministers that preceded him.

"Sinn Féin will do all in its power to reverse this decision." ENDS

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