Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

4,000 jobs at risk amid health cuts

Minister Michael McGimpsey said up to 4,000 jobs could be lost through health cuts

Up to 4,000 jobs could be lost through Northern Ireland health cuts, it has emerged.

The reductions could come over the next four years as the Department of Health struggles to cope with an £828 million shortfall by 2015.

Some of the predicted job losses will be through natural wastage and retirement but there may be some compulsory redundancies.

Health officials have also warned waiting lists could get longer while new patients may not be able to access the most up-to-date drugs.

New buildings may also lie empty and people could be asked to contribute towards the cost of their community care package.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said: "Overwhelmingly the population out there believe strongly in the health service and want to support the health service."

The Department of Health published its draft plans for its budget for the next four years.

The minister said there would be a massive reduction in the number of home-care packages and while the satellite radiotherapy unit in the grounds of Altnagelvin hospital in Londonderry will be built, there will be no cash to run it or the Fire and Rescue Service training college at Desertcreat, Co Tyrone.

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