31/05/2002

Lottery health funding programme welcomed

Three of the biggest killers in the Province are to be targeted in the latest round of £13.5 million funding from the National Lottery.

The programme, which will build on the work of projects under the New Opportunities Fund’s Healthy Living Centre and Cancer programmes, will focus on coronary heart disease stroke and cancer; and palliative care.

The coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer programme aims to reduce the burden of disease, especially amongst those with the greatest likelihood of developing these conditions and prioritises areas of socio-economic disadvantage. The programme will help to reduce preventable disease and improve access to services by encouraging greater community participation and partnership working in preventative programmes. It is expected to play a key part in reducing health inequalities.

The multi-million Palliative Care Programme will fund schemes that provide effective palliative care and associated support and information services for children and adults suffering from cancer and other life-threatening conditions and will run simultaneously with the coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer programme.

Welcoming the funding, Ms de Brún highlighted the timely launch of the New Opportunities Fund Programme so close to the 'Investing for Health' strategy which was launched in March of this year:

The Health Minister said: "Partnership working will be key to the successful implementation of the Executives’ 'Investing for Health' strategy. I am keenly interested in initiatives which further promote and cement partnership working and which broaden participation in positive action for health through partnerships which include community groups, voluntary organisations, business and statutory partners.

"The Executive has prioritised health through its Programme for Government and is committed to improving the health of all our people. The New Opportunities Fund health programmes to be launched today have an obvious link to the Executive’s objective of Working for a Healthier People and have the potential to make an enormous impact."

The New Opportunities Fund distributes National Lottery money to health, education and environmental projects in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

(SP)

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