Health Service in Northern Ireland Boosted by Additional £72 Million

The health service in Northern Ireland will be boosted by an additional £72 million.

This new figure results following a quarterly reallocation of executive funds.

The Department of Education will benefit from an extra £30 million, while £28 million will be diverted to the Department of Infrastructure in the June monitoring round.

£175 million has been redistributed from the central funding pot in order to achieve this extra funding.

An extra £20 million will also be spent on developing workforce skills, primarily through the further education sector.

The extra cash for health brings to £200 million the additional funds diverted to the service in addition to the original budget commitments of the Northern Irish authorities.

And there was more good news for patients in Ireland, as it was announced that no department will face funding cuts in the next round of monitoring.

Northern Ireland Finance Minister, Mairtin O Muilleoir, announced the new funding, indicating that £35 million will be spent on capital projects, including almost £23 million for flood prevention measures, road maintenance and investment in Waterways Ireland.

O Muilleoir commented on the decision-making process in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

“This positive monitoring round represents a determination on my part to work with ministerial colleagues to deliver a ‘fresh start’ not just through words – but demonstrated in deeds. Despite huge pressures on budgets as a result of the Westminster austerity agenda, we have managed to bring forward a monitoring round which does not contain cuts. The allocations made in this monitoring round will deliver positive outcomes by supporting funding for key public services.”

The minister went on to explain what had motivated the decision.

“The pressures in our health service are well documented and an additional £72 million funding will go a considerable way to help addressing these issues. It brings the total additional funding provided to health this year to £200 million and is evidence of the Executive’s commitment to protecting our health service. It is important that we invest in education and up-skilling our workforce as we seek to grow our economy. An additional £20 million in this monitoring round will go towards supporting that skills agenda and an additional £30 million is allocated to education, which is a crucial investment in our young people.”

O Muilleoir also expressed the importance for the political process to work together on addressing financial issues in the health service.

“This monitoring round demonstrates what can be achieved by working together, in spite of the financial constraints, and I will continue to make best endeavours to prevent the least well off from shouldering this burden.”

 

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