News | McKinney: Audit Office Investigation will provide overdue answers

McKinney: Audit Office Investigation will provide overdue answers

SDLP Health Spokesperson Fearghal McKinney has said that a thorough investigation into Health Service spend will provide answers to the tough questions that the Department of Health has avoided so far.

Mr McKinney was speaking after meeting with Auditor General Kieran Donnelly about a Value for Money analysis of Health Service spend.

He said:

“Over the last number of months I have sought answers to very serious questions about the direction of our Health Service and the associated spend. The SDLP has been vocal in our criticism of the Transforming Your Care agenda and the inexplicable lack of measurement of the project three years in. Following the worrying statements made by the Health Minister in the last number of weeks, it has become even more important that vital questions are answered.

“Today I met with Auditor General Kieran Donnelly to request an urgent Value for Money analysis of Health Service spend. I am very pleased that he agreed with my assessment of the imperative nature of such a review and the need to thoroughly interrogate the implementation, planning and spend around Transforming Your Care. I am hopeful that such a review will now give clarity to the scale and specifics of the crisis facing us as well as a firm, independent evidence base from which we can take action.

“I was also pleased to hear that the Audit Office is considering a series of reports on other areas which we have flagged as concerning. Significant sums of money can be saved through better management of prescribing budgets and a root and branch reform of the use of hospital bank staff and private clinics.

“It is time to move this on from a party political blame game and start to take action to address the huge pressures on our health service. People at the coal face - doctors, nurses, patients and their families - are tired of hearing bickering politicians. The public entrust guarding the Health Service to their elected representatives and that is a responsibility the SDLP takes very seriously. I look forward to liaising with the Auditor General over the next period and receiving his independent analysis.”

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