- The Belfast Telegraph has an exclusive on the depth of the health crisis. It shows the real world gap between the obsessive zero sum game that dominates politics and the practical need for regional government of some sort. If the RHI scandal broke the Executive, will the long-term health scandal remake it?
Northern Ireland’s health service is facing a potential overspend of more than £300m this year – which will worsen already unacceptable hospital waiting lists, a former Northern Ireland health boss has warned.
The massive sum dwarfs the Renewable Heat Incentive that led to the collapse of Stormont, which is predicted to cost more than £400m over 20 years – or £20m a year.
John Compton, ex-chief executive of the Health and Social Care Board, said the health system is in an “unsustainable” financial state and the political stalemate at Stormont is making things worse.
Tom Kelly in the Irish News chimes in with a cameo on the state of Daisy Hill hospital in Newry
The Sinn Féin statement issued after the visit said: “Minister O’Neill confirmed that Daisy Hill would be part of the acute hospital infrastructure in the future.” which unsurprisingly local Sinn Féin representatives concluded was “great news for the area.”
That was on February 20. Then the board of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT) who are responsible for the operation of Daisy Hill hospital issued a chilling warning on March 30 that ‘ongoing staffing difficulties for the emergency department (at Daisy Hill) could lead to its temporary closure.’
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London