Letters: Correction about BMA(NI) call for swine flu funding

I write to correct an inaccuracy in your article, 'GPC denies demanding £700m to provide swine flu jabs in England' (GP, 7 August).

BMA Northern Ireland (BMA(NI)) has not requested £55 million to tackle the pandemic.

The minister for health, Michael McGimpsey, requested this amount on 7 July 2009, and this request was refused by finance minister Sammy Wilson.

Following this, BMA(NI) issued a press statement calling for a united response from the Northern Ireland Assembly leadership, and stating that there is no option but to fund preparations to tackle the pandemic given the predicted rise in flu cases.

The BMA(NI) press release is available online at www.bma.org.uk

Dr Brian Patterson, chairman, BMA's Northern Ireland Council

Editor's note: The press release referred to is headlined 'Find additional funding for flu - BMA'. It describes the £55 million as 'necessary'.

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