02/05/2024

UUP Calls On Govt To 'Step Up' For Healthcare

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) has called on the UK government to "step up" for Northern Ireland's struggling healthcare system.

Party leader Doug Beattie has met with a senior Northern Ireland Office (NIO) official to raise his concerns that the recent Assembly budget will result in further damage to our Health Service.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Beattie said: "It is accepted that Northern Ireland has been underfunded for many years. While this is as much the fault of the Westminster government as it is those parties who have, through repeatedly collapsing the institutions, stopped the ability to develop long-term planning, it has created a breaking point for many of our devolved departments.
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"In my discussions with a senior NIO official today I highlighted the potential of the collapse of key health provisions if the budget, as presented, were to be voted through the Assembly.

"I called for urgent discussions with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This is to identify additional funding that could be delivered from Westminster to underwrite the £300 million shortfall in Health funding for the coming year.

"As I made clear last week. The budget presented to Robin Swann is unacceptable and cannot be supported by the Ulster Unionist Party. I also made it clear that I would do everything possible to look for solutions that would allow the shortfall to be met. I would hope that other party leaders would join me in raising this as a matter of urgency with the Westminster government."


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