Northern Ireland refuses to fund swine flu work

The BMA is 'deeply concerned' by the refusal of Northern Ireland's government to pay the £55m needed to combat the swine flu pandemic.

Brian Patterson (Photograph: Haymarket Medical/Malcolm Case-Green)
Brian Patterson (Photograph: Haymarket Medical/Malcolm Case-Green)

BMA Northern Ireland Council chairman Dr Brian Patterson said: 'Tackling the pandemic caused by the H1N1 virus is a major public health challenge for Northern Ireland that requires a united response from the Northern ireland Assembly leadership.

'We are deeply concerned at the refusal to find additional funding to ensure that Northern Ireland is properly prepared for the predicted rise in flu cases. There is no option but to fund preparations to tackle the pandemic, and the additional funding must be found, while ensuring that other healthcare services are not impaired in any way.

'As doctors, we will continue to work with the DHSSPS and other healthcare colleagues to provide patient care, but this is becoming increasingly difficult under mounting financial constraints.'

Negotiations on swine flu funding for the rest of the UK are continuing.


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