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Minister needs to back up his NHS statement

Published 26/01/2016

Simon Hamilton criticised the Belfast Telegraph's description of Northern Ireland's health service as "critically ill" (DebateNI, January 22).

He argues that, on the day this criticism appeared, the health service invested £10m delivering a very long list of services.

He would need to provide his sources to support his argument, however, for the underlying statistics are open to question.

For example, as derived from statistics provided by the Assembly, the average cost of each prescription dispensed in Northern Ireland appears to be £9.92, which means that dispensing 120,000 prescriptions would alone cost £1,190,400.

Moreover, the cost per head for domiciliary care packages appears to indicate that the average cost per domiciliary care package in Northern Ireland is £5,558.17 (ie there were 23,389 recipients at a total cost of £130,000,000).

BERNARD J MULHOLLAND

Belfast

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