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Invite local artists to display work in Hospitals

24 August, 2007

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Carál Ní Chuilín commenting on Michael McGimpsey's decision to review the provision of art in hospitals has suggested that local artists and community arts should help deliver a hospital environment that benefits patients and staff.

Ms Ní Chuilín said:

"It would be an idea for the Health Minister to invite local artists and people from the local community, from schools or even patients to display art pieces in their local hospitals. In this way the Minister would compliment the Hospital environment through the promotion of local artists and support for community based arts. Such an approach could also help spread costs through community funding through DSD, arts funding through DCAL and spending on hospital capital programmes from the Department of Health.

"This would allow Michael McGimpsey to apply the maximum resources available to front line services while helping the local artists to display and advertise their works free of charge. The works could be rotated on a regular basis so as to continuously enhance the hospital environment.

"The purchase of artwork for hospitals has been viewed as excessive and extremely difficult to justify. It was also seen by workers in the Health service and people out in the community as a department getting its priorities all wrong.

"Not a day goes by when hospitals across the North are faced with difficult situations concerning cuts in budgets. Those cuts are having a serious effect on those hospitals being able to provide the proper services needed.

"This suggestion would enable that local artists and community arts to help deliver a hospital environment that benefits patients and staff. It is a way a win-win solution. I am sure that the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Edwin Poots and other Executive colleagues would be only too glad to assist Michael McGimpsey in drawing up a plan to implement such a strategy." ENDS

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