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Loss of Nursing Posts

Part of Private Members’ Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 5:45 pm on 20th April 2009.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 5:45 pm, 20th April 2009

Here we go again with the Ulster Unionists. If one had taken out the references to the DUP from Mr McCallister’s speech, it would have been reduced in content by around one third. He made the usual cry of give us more money and we can do the job. He should not take on the job of rocket scientist, because anyone could claim that if they were given more money, they could do a better job.

We want to see the Minister do a good job with the money that he has, and cutting 722 nursing jobs does not represent doing a good job.

My wife is a nurse, so I should declare an interest. It is not that the proposed cuts will have a personal consequence for me, but they will have a consequence for the thousands of people who benefit from the service that Health Service nurses provide.

Mr McGimpsey has yet to challenge the Appleby Report. I want to hear today whether he will say that the Appleby Report is not fit for purpose. Professor John Appleby said that Health Service productivity in Northern Ireland was 17·4% less than that in the rest of the UK. As a consequence of that, it was determined that £280 million of savings were there to be made. If the Ulster Unionists are going to challenge that, and say that the Appleby Report is not up to scratch and that they want to take it apart piece by piece, I want to hear them do that. They have not done that to date.