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Woodward cannot escape demand for increased health budget

31 August, 2005

alth planning has been identified then it should be progressed without delay as it is clear an Island of 5 million people is too small to operate 2 health services.

"Mr Woodward, however, must also accept that we have a health service in the North which has a history of being considerably under resourced - a fact underlined by the Appleby report. It has been known for a considerable time that there is a massive shortfall in the North's budget in comparison to England, Scotland and Wales.

"Figures from the previous Executive put the figure of additional funding needed by the health service at some £190 million per year. Professor Appleby has identified that North needs at least an extra 7% of additional funding each year, on top of any internal savings, if the health service is to be sustainable and effective. Without this addition budget there is a distinct possibility that year on year services will deteriorate."

Concluding Mr O Dowd said,

"The most important management and financial regulation we could implement to bring our Health service into the 21st century is to have our own Assembly, an Executive and local Health Minister. Over 30 years of Direct rule have left our Health service part-time managed and full-time under resourced. ENDS

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