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NHS Funding Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:56 pm on 27th January 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:56 pm, 27th January 2020

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right that the three years without an Administration in Northern Ireland have led to all sorts of difficulties. I have already spoken to my new Northern Ireland counterpart twice and offered all the support that we can give. The extra funding will help an awful lot, but it is sadly true that there are over 10,000 people waiting more than a year for a procedure in Northern Ireland. The number in Wales—run by the Labour party—is over 4,000, and the number in England is just over 1,000. We have to make sure that we get the very best treatment across the whole of the UK. Even though I am responsible for the NHS in England, I am also the UK Health Secretary. For instance, on the public health emergencies that we have been talking about recently, we have to engage across all four nations and make sure that the Northern Irish health system improves, as do the Welsh system—which is in a terrible state in many places, despite the amazing effort of the staff who work in it—and the problems that we well know about in the Scottish system.