The Ulster Unionist Party’s Health Spokesperson, Alan Chambers MLA, has said the major funding boost heading for Stormont as a consequence of Boris Johnson’s allocation of £5.4bn for the NHS in England must be ring-fenced and earmarked for the local health service.
Alan Chambers said:
“The UK Government has clearly recognised the devastating impact Covid has had, and is continuing to have, on the NHS in England. I very much welcome this latest funding package not only because it will help patients in England, but because as a result of the budgetary process, the Northern Ireland Executive is now also set to receive a major funding boost.
“There should be no doubt however that whenever Stormont receives the funding it should be prioritised and solely invested in our local health service. If the funding is intended entirely for the NHS in England, then the Northern Ireland share should be intended entirely for the health and social care system here. It would be a travesty if this extra funding were to get sucked into the middle of the Executive and fall to the mercy of however the DUP and Sinn Fein wanted to carve it up.
“The funding, which will be well in excess of a hundred million pounds, could be instrumental in helping to clear the backlogs and accelerate the detailed plans Robin Swann already has in place to tackle our unacceptable waiting times.
“I therefore call on all political parties - but especially the other four that are represented on the Executive - to give a clear and steadfast commitment that whenever this funding is received, that their Ministers will ensure it is allocated to the Department of Health in its entirety.”