Health Service cannot justify spending £200,000 on televisions at the same time as refusing midwifes a 1% pay rise

Ulster Unionist Health Committee member, Michael McGimpsey MLA, has warned the Health Minister that he needs to get his priorities in order after it was revealed one of Northern Ireland’s Health Trusts spent £200,000 on a new entertainment system.

The South Belfast MLA said; 

“It is frustrating that at a time of a deepening financial crisis right across our health service which in turn is leading to spiralling waiting times and falling staff morale, officials in the Southern Health Trust thought it was appropriate to spend £200,000 on a new entertainment/television system. 

“I believe it is symptomatic of just how flawed the priorities are of the Minister and some of those officials who work in the health service. The priority right now must be to prioritise the safety of patient care, get to grips with crippling hospital waits and cancer treatment times and reassure staff that they are valued and not being taken for granted.

“When a body as renowned as the Royal College of Midwives votes overwhelmingly in favour of holding strike action for the first time in its 134 year history, given the Minister’s refusal to award them their recommended 1% pay rise, it is clear just how serious the problem is.

“Unfortunately however the expenditure of £200,000 on a television system demonstrates that the Minister and those around him do not understand what their true priorities should be.”

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