Sinn Fein Councillor calls for billion-pound investment into Health System

A Sinn Fein Councillor has said “the DUP are bad for our health” as he calls for cross party support for a multi-year budget and a billion-pound investment in struggling health system.

The motion, brought forward by Councillor Christopher Jackson, was passed unanimously and called for “all parties to work together to deliver a multi-year budget and invest a billion pounds” in the health system.

Speaking on the eve of the deadline for the Executive to form, Councillor Jackson said that “it is clear that the political system in the North” is failing the health system. He added, “people’s lives are at risk unless our health service receives proper support”.

The Derry City and Strabane District Council meeting heard of concerns over capacity and long waiting times at Altnagelvin Hospital. Highlighting the ongoing issues at the local hospital, Councillor Jackson said, “these people are not statistics, these are people of this city and district seriously ill and injured, waiting desperately on healthcare”.

Councillor Jackson concluded by stating that “the DUP are bad for our health” adding that their actions “are putting people’s lives at risk”.

Responding to calls for the DUP to “get back to work”, DUP Alderman Maurice Devenney said, “our party is on record supporting the great work that our health staff do”.

Alderman Devenney claimed that an active Stormont would not be the solution to the issues facing the health service. He added that these issues have been around for over a decade.

Referring to the call for a billion-pound investment, he suggested that Sinn Fein should take their seats in Westminster “because that is where the money is”. He concluded his remarks by saying “we are standing by our mandate”.

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Flavia Gouveia is a Liberal Arts and Politics Graduate and current Journalism MA student at Ulster University.