[Sinn Fein]

3rd December 2001

Response to increased health spending

Sinn Fein Health Spokesperson, Mid Ulster MLA John Kelly has welcomed the injection of 41 million into our health service but warned that to date new money had only allowed the health service to `stand still'.

Mr Kelly said:

``The new money won by Bairbre de Brun for our health service has to be welcomed, as does the announcement by Gordon Brown of increased finances but we can not lose sight of the fact that to date new money has only allowed our health service to stand still.

``Over the past 30 years the health service has been starved of cash. Money announced in Britain has raised people's expectations but hasn't been spent here. People really now need to see money going to front line services, not fat cats and bureaucrats.

``This is a long overdue recognition by the Executive that if they say they are going to prioritise health then they need to back it up with money. The reality is of course that there is still not enough money going into our health services. There needs to be fundamental review of our spending patterns and we need to break out of the inherited patterns of the past.'' ENDS

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