Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Michael McGimpsey issues fresh warning over health cutbacks

The Health Minister has once again warned of the danger of cutting more money from the NHS budget as the Finance Minister insisted all Government departments will be expected to make savings.

The ministers are expected to clash again as Sammy Wilson warned Northern Ireland faces the biggest cuts in a generation. In a speech yesterday he said: “These are challenging times and over the next few years we will see massive reductions in public expenditure not seen since the 1970s.”

However, just hours later Health Minister Michael McGimpsey addressed the Stormont health committee and repeated his call for health to be made exempt from the cuts being imposed on Northern Ireland by Chancellor George Osborne.

Mr McGimpsey said policing and justice money will be protected from budget cuts and asked: “Are prisoners more important than patients?”

His call was backed by the Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride who said any further cuts will “radically transform how we deliver healthcare”.

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