Conservatives issue healthcare cash challenge to Stormont

The Conservatives have challenged the Northern Ireland Executive to ‘ring-fence’ funding for the NHS which David Cameron has provided to create a ‘seven day’ health service.  The party’s spokesman, Neil Wilson, said the money should be invested “directly into front-line care for patients and delivering Transforming Your Care”.

“The Prime Minister’s commitment means an extra £160 million per year for the NHS in Northern Ireland by 2020, so long as Stormont ministers don’t raid the kitty for other things”, Neil explained.  “The money reflects the Conservative Party’s commitment to providing a world class health service, free at the point of use, for everyone in the UK.  We’re challenging the Executive parties to promise that the extra funds will be used to improve the NHS in Northern Ireland, by improving front-line services and delivering the Transforming Your Care strategy, rather than paying for more managers and bureaucracy.”

“Stormont has so far mismanaged the health service, employing 42% more non-medical staff than the NHS in England.  We spend more per head of the population, yet get worse health outcomes.  That’s why this money must be ploughed directly into providing care for patients.  People in Northern Ireland deserve the very best healthcare and it’s imperative that the NHS here keeps up with developments in the rest of the UK.  Let’s hear the health minister, Simon Hamilton, and his Executive colleagues, promise that the extra money the Conservatives are providing will be spent on caring for patients and will not be wasted.”