The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee launches inquiry into Funding priorities for the 2018-19 Budget: Health.
On 27 June, the UK Government published the Northern Ireland Budget (No. 2) Bill which set out funding for Northern Ireland departments up until 31 March 2019, including health. The inquiry will look into whether funding allocated to the Department of Health will be sufficient to meet the growing pressures on health and social care provision in Northern Ireland. It will also examine how these funds could be used to improve service levels across the Health and Social Care (HSC) service.
Launching the inquiry, Committee Chair Dr Andrew Murrison MP commented:
"Like the rest of the UK the healthcare sector has faced significant challenges meeting demand and providing the best possible care. This has been made all the more difficult with the lack of an Executive causing uncertainty over long-term budgets and making future planning difficult.
Now that the Government has announced the funding for the next year it is important that we understand how that money is to be spent and who will be making the decisions. Is it being directed to the right areas to meet current need, and is it allowing the health system to develop and meet future challenges."
Terms of reference - call for written evidence
The Committee invites written evidence on the following issues:
- Are the funds allocated to the Department of Health in the Northern Ireland Budget (No. 2) Bill sufficient to improve levels of performance across the Health and Social Care (HSC) service in Northern Ireland?
- What will be the consequences for the HSC that follow from the decision by the Secretary of State to allow £100m of existing funding ring-fenced for capital to be invested in ongoing public service provision?
- Should the UK Government ensure that additional confidence and supply funding earmarked for specific areas is spent on those areas, and if so how?
- Which areas of health and social care are under most pressure and how could funding be used to alleviate these pressures?
- How could funding be directed to meet the changing patterns of demand that arise from an ageing population?
- How can access to cancer treatment and drugs be improved in Northern Ireland?
- How could funding be targeted to reduce waiting times for elective care?
- How could funding in the short-term be used to bring about long-term transformational change in the HSC?
- Does the current HSC workforce model secure value for money?
Closing date for written submissions: Friday 24 August 2018.