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Efficiency savings should not target hospital beds

22 September, 2009 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin MLA and deputy chair of the Health Committee Michelle O’Neill has stated that there should be no reduction of beds at Belfast Hospitals.

Speaking today Ms O’Neill said:

“The Health Minister has made commitments that efficiency savings should not and will not affect frontline services however this is the latest in a long list of attacks on such services.

“We have seen proposed cuts to nursing numbers, the ambulance service has been affected and now over 150 beds are under threat at Belfast main hospitals.

“On top of this staff that are affected are to be redeployed. We have seen the debacle of staff redeployment in the Omagh area and the costs and disruption to local health provision that that occurred.

“Sinn Féin recognise that there are financial pressures on all Departments including Health but the way forward is not to cut frontline services such as hospital beds, nursing jobs, and in the ambulance service.

“There are areas that Michael McGimpsey as Health Minister can make savings and these need to be explored with full rigour before any of these cuts are even considered.”

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