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“Sinn Féin wont take lectures from Michael McGimpsey” – Michelle O’Neill

6 July, 2010 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin MLA for mid-Ulster Michelle O’Neill, responding to comments made this morning by the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey, has said that Sinn Féin won’t take ‘lectures’ from him regarding the Health Budget.

Speaking in Stormont this morning Ms O’Neill said;

“Michael McGimpsey needs to start acting like a Minister, he needs to stop blaming everyone else for the economic realities facing society here, he needs to start attending important meetings like the north-south ministerial council, where health issues are on the agenda, and he needs to start making himself more available to face questioning in the Assembly chamber on important matters relating to health. The Minister said this morning he believes people here ‘deserve a wee bit of honesty’ so it is high time the Minister starts being honest about the realities within his own department.

Mr McGimpsey’s tenure has seen £16 million being paid out in ‘golden handshakes’ to managers in the NHS within the space of one year. This is not an efficient way run the health system. Add to this the report by the Auditor General, criticising the vast amount of wastage within the department and the reality of Michael McGimpsey’s failure as Minister starts to become clear.

The only person seeking to be political here is the Minister; he has adopted a stance where he simply wishes to blame everyone else for the glaringly obvious failings within his Department. While he continues to allow over £11 million per annum to be spent on bonuses the public will know who is really letting them down and who needs to start being ‘a wee bit honest’.

Sinn Féin will continue to stand in defence of frontline services and staff, we will continue to highlight and oppose the sickening position of the department, which is seemingly about protecting the highest paid bureaucrats as opposed to the men and women who make our healthcare system work and the people who avail of it day in and day out.” CRÍOCH

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