Radiotherapy Unit is one of the top priorities for new Health Committee

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 25 May 2011

Reference: HSSPS 01/11/12

A new radiotherapy unit at Altnagelvin Hospital, a more efficient health service, and local services in communities are some of the top priorities for the new Assembly Health Committee.

The Committee met for the first time today and began to set its work programme and priorities for the new Assembly term. Finance is a major issue and in the coming months the Committee will look at where efficiencies can be made, including consultants’ bonuses. The Committee will also focus on how to keep people well and the importance of treating people in primary care settings where possible.

Other topics to be tackled include care for the elderly, improving health staff morale and the Department’s plans for new build facilities over the next 4 years.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Chairperson Michelle Gildernew MP MLA said: “The direction of the health service and spending on health are two of the key issues for the Committee and they are issues that affect everyone. We want to work with the Department to deliver the best health service for all our people. As well as that, my Committee want to ensure that all possible efficiencies are investigated and all possible funding streams captured.

“But just as important an issue is preventative services. Wewant to see how people can be kept out of hospitals in the first instance through healthy living – there needs to be a focus on wellness and not just sickness.

“This Committee will be looking at health in its widest sense, and we want to look at innovative ways of providing services to people including helping those who care for relatives in the community. This domiciliary care is often unpaid and unrecognised and we need to get this higher up the agenda.”

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