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Health Minister must make an immediate statement on draconian cuts in Health service- Sinn Féin

19 May, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA Michelle O'Neill has called on Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to make an immediate statement on the details of a leaked document outlining draconian cuts in the Health service including staffing numbers across the board.

Ms O'Neill stated,

"At a time when we should be aiming at providing an improved service in health we find a leaked report outlining massive cuts across the board.

"The cuts of £130 million introduced by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair were designed to reduce bureaucracy and be invested in frontline services yet the people who will bear the brunt of these cuts are nurses and frontline providers.

"In Belfast alone it is expected that over 300 people will lose their jobs but also worrying is the fact that the elderly with mental health problems will be targeted and that transport for those with mental health difficulties will be cut.

"These people are amongst the most vulnerable people in our society and we cannot afford to abandon them to the lottery of care in the community.

"I am calling on the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to remove the uncertainty surrounding these reports and make a statement outlining the future of Health provision for the North. "


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