Put people first, Northern Ireland health minister urged

UNISON calls for minister to put the health of the people first in reorganisation

As health unions prepare to protest at Stormont today we understand that the minister for health is about to make a major statement on reorganisation of the health service.

UNISON has been pressing for reorganisation since 2006.  We have supported most of the key proposals in the Donaldson Review.

We want to see an end to commissioning – the internal market which is wasting up to 15% of the health budget year on year.

We have strongly advocated a model of public health in which not only the Department of Health but all government departments must play their role in eradicating Northern Ireland’s unacceptable health inequalities.

The minister has not chosen to share his intentions in advance with the 60,000 people who work in the health service or the unions representing them the largest of which is UNISON. This is not the open and inclusive style of government we expect

We hope that the reorganisation he is about to announce is driven by an agenda which puts the health of the people first and is not dedicated by a financial imperative about balancing the books.