McKinney: Health minister has presided over a catalogue of crises
“Over the past year the public has witnessed a catalogue of health service failings, typified by the crisis in our A&E departments. The minister is now warning the public of further cuts he says have come from the failure to implement welfare reform. The reality is the health budget was protected in the June monitoring round and given £20m extra. The real reason for today’s short fall is the failure of the ‘Transforming Your Care’ (TYC) plan,” said Mr McKinney.
Mr McKinney continued: “Last year Peter Robinson said he would put his hand up for Edwin Poots if he needed extra money to run the health service. The finance minister Simon Hamilton has often praised the efficiencies that Edwin Poots achieved in the health budget, but recently has criticised him heavily for poor budgetary management. Which of these DUP narratives should we believe? “The Health Minister has asked for £60m additional to run our health service safely, and we don’t know where that money will go; just as we have not seen any measurement in the TYC plan or any of the cuts that he has made before this.
“Once again, Edwin Poots has brought patients into a wider debate about welfare reform and the health shortfall. His plan for making savings in the Health Service has resulted in a catalogue of crises and welfare reform plays no part in that.”