Party restates its call for an independent public inquiry
Workers Party General Secretary John Lowry has restated the Party’s call for an independent public inquiry into the planning and delivery of health and social care in Northern Ireland. His call comes after it was revealed that the amount of public money diverted into the private health care sector here has increased by more than 150% in the last three years.
“This is not a mute debating point or a matter for a polite ministerial response – this is a public scandal that goes right to the very heart of our health and social care service, the treatment and care of our ill, our old and our vulnerable citizens. It goes straight to the core of our social values.” John said
Freedom of Information
Figures for the amount of public money redirected to private healthcare firms have risen by almost 162% in the past three years. The information was obtained by the Workers Party through a Freedom of Information request.
From a total of £25.69 million at the end of 2011, the most recent figures show that public spending in private healthcare here has rocketed to £67.30 million by the end of last year.
“Nothing short of a full and independent public inquiry into the running of our health and social care services will suffice”, he said
“To give an example of the scale of the scandal in Northern Ireland we need only look across to Scotland “, said John. “NHS Scotland spent around £28 million pounds in the same period as the health service in Northern Ireland was re-directing more than £67million pounds of public money into private healthcare”
Privatisation by stealth
“This led to the Scottish Assembly ordering an immediate reduction in private healthcare funding. Yet our Assembly continues to tell us that there is no crisis and no problem”.
“Claims that our health and social care services are not being privatised no longer stand up. This is privatisation by stealth and with the full support and backing of the Executive at Stormont, “John concluded .
Private Sector spend on health and social care in Northern Ireland:
2010/11 £25.69 million
2011/12 £53.21 million
2012/13 £67.30 million