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Expenditure on Artwork for hospitals excessive

10 August, 2007

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Carál Ní Chuilín MLA has said the reports that the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is to spend £30 million on artwork for hospitals across the North would not represent value for money at a time when there are increasing concerns about MRSA and other clearly identified priorities.

Ms Ní Chuilín said:

"Whilst I have no objection to the purchase of artwork for hospitals to enhance the environment and help patient recovery I feel that spending £30million on artwork is not just excessive but extremely difficult to justify. It will also be seen by both workers in the Health service and people out there in the community as a department getting its priorities all wrong.

"There is a not a day goes by that 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.

"Even though the cost of the artwork would be less than one percent of the overall budget I feel that this money would be much better spent on core services, bringing down hospital waiting lists and various other projects such as expanding drug and rehabilitation services or tackling MRSA." ENDS

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