Health and Social Care

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:28 pm on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 12:28 pm, 16th January 2020

I look forward very much to speaking to and working with the new Health Minister in Northern Ireland. I am delighted that there is a ministerial team in Northern Ireland and I pay tribute to everybody who has worked so hard to make sure that that can happen. The right hon. Gentleman is right that the funding will increase. There are significant challenges in Northern Ireland, about which he knows all too well, and I look forward to trying to resolve them. The truth is that in Northern Ireland the number of people waiting more than a year for an operation is 10 times higher than in England, despite the much smaller population. It is four times higher in Wales, despite the fact that the Welsh population is smaller. We have to solve those problems and I look forward very much to working collaboratively across the Union to make sure that they are resolved.