Self praise where it isn’t due

In October and November 2007 Michael McGimpsey rejected the draft budget as it squeezed the Health allocation. In January 2008 his demands for a greater allocation to Health were finally accepted by the DUP Finance Minister after some unpleasantness. Following Michael’s recent decision, the DUP call this “sound financial planning” on their part.

In March 2007 the UUP had the abolition of prescription charges as a manifesto commitment, and had it included in the programme for government in January 2008. Kieran McCarthy was obviously unaware of this, as this week he claimed that the abolition of prescription charges was a result of his motion two months after the electorate voted on the UUP manifesto which contained the commitment, and the Alliance Party manifesto, which did not.

  • Toby

    Free prescriptions sound great but still means that health services to the most vulnerable will not be as good as they could have been- why not use the funds to enhance Bamford rather than yet another payoff to the middle classes.

    Also, there is an inconsistency in McGimpsey stating in the Budget that the health service is hundreds of millions underfunded compared to England but then offering a gimmick which they can’t afford in England- is NI simply more efficient, I don’t think so.

    There are long term funding issues facing the health service which inevitably mean that we will have to pay more for services. The alternative is a service that provides only the bare minimum whilst the rich go private. McGimpsey’s “cradle to the grave” crap is simply misleading.

  • Free ‘scripts

    Back in 2006, Sinn Fein launched a major campaign on Monday 27th March, in the Long Gallery at Stormont, attended and supported by many of the health service patient/user groups, to drive for the introduction of free prescription charges.

    At the time the Party said,”There is clear evidence to suggest that prescription charges are a barrier to accessing proper treatment for many people, particularly those on fixed incomes and that the situation can have a hugely detrimental impact on the health of these individuals.
    This campaign is about removing that barrier and putting an end to a system which financially penalises people for being ill.
    There is also the insane situation where people suffering from a number of serious life limiting illnesses such as arthritis, asthma, cancer and multiple sclerosis are not entitled to free prescriptions as of right because the situation has not been looked at since 1968.”

    I also believe that SF introduced motions around various councils on the issue at that time.

  • At the time the Party said,”There is clear evidence to suggest that prescription charges are a barrier to accessing proper treatment for many people, particularly those on fixed incomes and that the situation can have a hugely detrimental impact on the health of these individuals.
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