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'DUP attacks aimed at distracting from their own failures’ – Maskey

4 January, 2018 - by Paul Maskey

DUP attempts to blame health service pressures on other parties are an attempt to distract for their own support for Tory cuts and their failure to transform the health service when they held the ministry, Sinn Féin’s Paul Maskey has said.

The West Belfast MP was speaking after meeting with senior nursing staff and trade union officials at the Royal Victoria Hospital and ahead of discussions with the lead official in the Health Department.

“I think the hard-working and underpaid staff within our health and social care system will be disappointed at the DUP’s attempts to score cheap political points from the very serious situation they are facing in our hospitals,” he commented.

“Many of those staff will see this for what it is because they remember how successive unionist ministers abysmally failed to grasp the need for transformation when they held the Health Ministry.

“It was only when Michelle O’Neill became Health Minister that the process of transforming the service was finally begun. That work can and needs to continue.

“Our health and social care workforce need our support at this time. They are our greatest asset and deserve to be invested in.

“Unfortunately, what we have witnessed over the years of Tory-led government has been the opposite. Health workers and health services have borne the brunt of austerity imposed from London.

“The DUP actively support the government that has imposed all of this and is wedded to continuing it.

“They have given the tories a blank cheque to continue attacking frontline services and frontline workers.

“So for the DUP to attempt to blame others is a staggering attempt at distracting from their own failures and their own support for those who are really responsible.”

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