‘Health service cuts mustn’t compromise patient safety’ – Kennedy

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Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Community, Politics
Ulster Unionist MLA for Newry and Armagh Danny Kennedy has warned the Health Minister that he has a duty to ensure the health service in Northern Ireland has sufficient resources to meet the needs of the public. Speaking to Newry Times, Kennedy said, “The state of the health service in Northern Ireland has become increasingly precarious over the last 6 months. “It will not have come as a shock to the Health Department however as my party had been warning since 2010 that the budget for this year simply didn’t add up. “The health cuts could have been avoided had the former Minister not left it well into to the last year of a four year budget before speaking out about the budgetary situation facing his Department,” Kennedy insisted. “Disgracefully this imbalance in the health budget has now seen the Minor Injuries Unit in Armagh forced to close. Whilst I note the Trust claims the closure is only temporary, unfortunately when health bodies talk about temporarily reducing services, it is more often than not the permanent outcome. “Last week waiting times were published which revealed targets are widely being missed at present. People are beginning to wait longer on hip and knee operations and in September this year barely over 75% of patients attending our emergency care departments were either treated or admitted within four hours, even though the target is 95%. The local MLA added, “By cutting key services, such as Armagh Minor Injuries unit, the Health Minister is only putting more pressure on our hospitals and that makes no sense at all.”
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