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Anderson slams incompetent Health Minister

23 March, 2011 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Fein Equality Spokesperson, Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) has slammed the announcement by Michael McGimpsey not to proceed with the Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin.

Martina Anderson said:

“This decision is a political decision not one of affordability. Michael McGimpsey has once more demonstrated that he is the most incompetent Minister in the Executive. If this funding had been required for the City Hospital in his own Constituency there would be no question of not having running costs. But there are no votes for him in Derry

“The Irish government remains committed in its support of this project. It will not be completed for at least four years yet Michael McGimpsey is taking a pre-emptive decision on the last day of this Assembly to refuse to proceed with this crucial facility.

“He claims that there is no funding available yet according to the Appleby Report commissioned by the Minister himself, to assess spending within the Health Department found that in 2008/09 excess spending by the Department on elective and non-elective inpatient and day case procedures was £126million.

“Again although Michael McGimpsey continuously claims to have reduced spending on brand name drugs the Appleby Report contradicts this claim, pointing out that Pharmaceutical costs in the North have risen far faster than elsewhere and are in fact 40% higher than in England.

“This Minister’s incompetency knows no bounds and the electorate of South Belfast would do the rest of us a favour by sending a message to Michael McGimpsey that wherever a Minister plays politics with peoples lives there is a price to pay. They should ensure that he is not re-elected.”

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