Northern Ireland in health spending boost
The Prime Minister has announced that the NHS UK-wide is to receive an extra £20 billion a year by 2023.
Northern Ireland is in line for a multimillion-pound health service spending boost.
The Prime Minister has announced that the NHS across the UK is to receive an extra £20 billion a year by 2023.
Northern Ireland would be allocated a proportion of that based on its population size, but the money does not have to be spent on health or social care.
Health service spending in Northern Ireland this year is worth more than £5 billion.
It is expected that taxes and borrowing will rise to pay for the increase in funding announced by Theresa May, and resources will be redirected from the more than £9 billion a year the UK currently pays into the EU.
DUP Assembly member Simon Hamilton said the extra cash will help Northern Ireland get to grips with the pressures that the healthcare system faces and boost preparations for future challenges.
He said: “The DUP has proven its commitment to pursuing this dual approach.
“That’s why, in the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Conservative Party, we secured £100 million to deal with immediate health and education pressures.
“Those resources have helped the NHS in Northern Ireland to deliver the biggest investment in GP services for over 10 years and to put in place a long-term plan to secure accident and emergency services at Daisy Hill Hospital.”
He added the pact with the Tories, in exchange for DUP support in key Westminster votes, also included £200 million to transform the health service.
He said: “As Professor Rafael Bengoa reminded us last week, transforming the NHS alongside addressing immediate pressures is always a challenge, but this spending boost plus the resources from the Confidence and Supply Agreement gives us a great opportunity to deliver on the consensus around transformation that the political parties at Stormont have built.”
He said creating the NHS people deserved was best achieved through a locally-elected and accountable health minister.
He added: “It is high time that Sinn Fein prioritised issues like health that affect all of our constituents over narrow, sectional interests.
“Let’s get power sharing up and running again and begin the work of building a better NHS.
“Should Sinn Fein continue to put language before public services, the DUP have shown an ability to continue to deliver on health even in the absence of an Executive.”