‘Outsourcing medical services to private firms is disgraceful’ – McAteer

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Friday, January 22nd, 2016
Community, Politics
Independent Newry City Councillor Kevin McAteer has slammed the trust for outsourcing services to private firms after some of his constituents revealed to Councillor McAteer that they had to travel to Belfast and Hillsborough to get scans at private clinics.
Independent Newry Councillor Kevin McAteer

Independent Newry Councillor Kevin McAteer

Speaking to Newry Times, the Independent Councillor stated, “The trust may see it as beneficial financially to outsource services to private firms. However we need to address the reasons as to why this is the case. “The trust have indicated that outsourcing helps in times of increased pressure and stress on NHS waiting lists but we must ask ourselves why the waiting lists in question are under some much strain in the first place. “It also seems that the trust have a lack of confidence in our NHS whereby they feel the need to outsource to private firms and doctors; are the current NHS doctors and services not good enough? “It seems that our current NHS is under so much pressure and strain that effectively the trust cannot cope with the pressure and therefore feels the need to outsource to a private firm,” he continued. “How can we ask the public to maintain confidence in our NHS when the guys manning the ship don’t even have confidence in our services? We shouldn’t have to outsource in the first place, our NHS should be able to cope on its own but we are now in a situation whereby our NHS has long waiting lists, over worked and under paid staff and services being cut right across the board. McAteer added, “The trust can sugarcoat this all they want, our NHS is under considerable strain and taking more services from Daisy Hill would spell disaster.” A spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said, “To help reduce the time patients are waiting for scans, we do sometimes refer patients to independent providers (subject to funding). “Patients have the option of attending an appointment with an independent provider or they can choose to wait longer for an appointment in a Trust Hospital. An independent provider is used when The Trust does not have sufficient capacity within our own hospitals to meet the needs of our population for a particular specialty. The Spokesperson added, “Financial help with travel costs is available for patients attending an appointment who are on a low income, or are in receipt of some benefits.”

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