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Sinn Féin urges Minister to release additional Health funding

22 November, 2004

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Cllr John O'Dowd MLA has called on the NIO health minister Angela Smith to release additional funding to the health service in order to cope with increased winter pressures.

Cllr O'Dowd said,

"Patient demand upon the Health Service increases dramatically throughout the winter months. Given that hospitals and other health and social services are already under pressure, I have asked Angela Smith to inform me if she intends to release any additional funding to deal with added winter pressures, and if so, the amount which will be allocated.

" I am aware that in 2003 an extra £7 million was allocated for this purpose. In view of the current situation within the Health Service with a number of Boards and Trusts already under financial pressure, I have said to the minister that last year's figure would need to be significantly increased and improved upon.

"There is a need to ensure additional medical beds in the hospital sector, a range of extra community care provision including domiciliary care packages and more services in the primary care sector, including extra GP clinics and practice nurse sessions in order to target and treat people early. I believe that if an additional and properly funded package was put together and implemented, it would assist in removing pressure on the health service thus averting hospital admissions." ENDS

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