Concern at “avalanche of cuts” to health service

November 3, 2014

SDLP councillor Kevin McAteer has expressed his concern at how proposed cuts in the health service, as a result of the recent budget decision at Stormont, may affect services at Daisy Hill hospital.

Pointing out that his party colleague and health spokesperson, Fearghal McKinney MLA, has claimed the “avalanche of cuts” proposed will “fundamentally undermine public confidence” in a budget which it was claimed would protect frontline services, Councillor McAteer says he is “disgusted” at the news.

‘‘These cuts are a betrayal of the public. There has been no consultation with the public or trade unions and I am disgusted by this,” he said.

“We are now in a situation where nurses are being overworked, will not receive the pay increase that they deserve, and frontline services in the form of hospital beds are being slashed at will.  We were told that frontline services in the Department of Health would be protected. That is clearly not the case.

“This is a budget that will savage the health service and marks the beginning of a series of seismic cuts that will change the face of healthcare delivery in the north for the worse.”

Confirming that the SDLP voted against the cuts, Councillor McAteer says he now intends to make contact with the Southern Trust to examine how services at Daisy Hill can be best protected.