Derry City and Strabane Council Support Striking Staff at Health Trusts

Derry City and Strabane District Council have thrown their support behind striking healthcare staff at local health trusts.

Councillor Shaun Harkin began his testimony by saying that ‘Westminster and Stormont have spent years now undermining the health service here’. Councillor Harkin said that ‘our health service is in crisis here and instead of listening to workers and health advocates about to how to protect the health service and save it, instead, Westminster and Stormont have listened to people who want to turn health into a site for profiteering’.

The People Before Profit Councillor took direct aim at the government in Westminster and Stormount, ‘that isn’t able to do anything because of the DUP’s reckless boycott’. Harkin also that that ‘the healthcare crisis happened because of privatisation, it happened because of years of undermining safe staffing, it happened because of years of not paying and treating fairly and properly’.

Councillor Philip McKinney argued in favour of privatisation alongside NHS healthcare. ‘At the minute, the NHS cannot function without the help of the private sector and many of our constituents are having to go abroad to have operations done because our health service cannot cope’ argued McKinney. The Alliance Councillor said that ‘we do not agree with the NHS being privatised, definitely not, but we do agree find there’s a need for private health clinics and private hospitals’. 

DUP Alderman Maurice Devenney backed the opinions of Harkin and McKinney. ‘There are private care out there, and a lot of them are delivering a very, very good service and a vital service’ said Devenney, as health trusts themselves are looking to use private care services.

Councillor Brian Tierney took indirect aim to the lack of an executive. ‘It’s not okay to stand on your doorstep on a Thursday evening and clap the health service, but then not turn up to do your job to support them on any other day of the week’, said the SDLP Councillor.

The motion moved forward unanimously.