Nesbitt ‘stunned’ by projected health cuts impact

Stormont’s new health minister, Mike Nesbitt, expressed his shock at the budget briefings regarding the potential impact of projected health cuts in Northern Ireland. He emphasized his commitment to avoiding cuts that would have catastrophic consequences for health services in the region. This comes after the Stormont Assembly passed a budget that raised concerns among health officials and ministers.

During his address at Stormont, Mr. Nesbitt highlighted the issue of health inequality as a significant challenge. He stressed the importance of not having a two-tier health service and the need to address health disparities in deprived areas. The minister also pointed out the lack of focus on need in the health department’s budget discussions, urging a shift towards funding based on necessity rather than population.

Mr. Nesbitt warned of the severe consequences of implementing the current budget, stating that many patients would suffer harm as a result. He described the potential cuts as catastrophic, emphasizing the need for a more comprehensive understanding of the impacts on patients and service users. The minister stressed the challenges of delivering significant savings while maintaining quality care for the public.

In conclusion, Mr. Nesbitt urged MLAs to recognize the reality of the budget they had approved and the implications it would have on health services. He reiterated his commitment to avoiding cuts with catastrophic impacts and emphasized the importance of addressing the challenges facing health and social care in Northern Ireland. As the new health minister, he vowed to work towards finding solutions that prioritize the well-being of the most vulnerable in society.