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Independent Health Review must address under-resourcing

23 February, 2005

Sinn Féin health spokesperson, Cllr John O?Dowd MLA, speaking after he led a party delegation to meet with Professor John Appleby, chair of the Independent Review of Health and Social Care Provision in the Six Counties, said that for such a review to be effective, it must seek to address the question of under-resourcing of the health service.

Cllr O'Dowd MLA said:

"It is important to provide the best possible care and treatment we can, and to improve the overall health of the general population. In order to do this, the question of the continued under-resourcing of the health service must be addressed.

"It is estimated that the health service in the Six Counties requires at least £500 million pounds of additional expenditure on an annual basis over the next number of years just to bring the service up to the same levels as England, Scotland or Wales. Without that level of additional support, there is a danger that the health service, which is already in crisis management mode in a number of areas, may go into reverse and decline.

"We found today's meeting with Professor Appleby to be very informative and we will be holding a number of future meetings with him to discuss Sinn Féin's view on the resourcing to the health service, and on ensuring proper and effective delivery of services for those who need them."ENDS

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