The annual winter crisis in the NHS reached even greater heights over the recent weeks as the Tory government’s funding freeze resulted in huge pressures at emergency departments across Britain and Northern Ireland. In the South, the same story was repeated again,the result of chronic under funding.
Fresh health cuts totalling £70 million across Northern Ireland have been announced. This is the result of years when the Executive failed to ensure healthcare funding met increased demand, an estimated six percent annual reduction in budgets.
On Wednesday 23rd August, for the first time since it was established in 2005, the Regulations and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) intervened to close a privately-owned and managed nursing home, the Ashbrooke Nursing Home, operating on the edge of Enniskillen.
Like most working class people, our family has been hit hard by the austerity agenda imposed over the last ten years by Westminster and Stormont to bail out the bankers and super-rich after the economic crisis they created.
The real effects of these cuts can be seen with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service cutting 70,000 hours from front line cover. This will affect people across the North, but will particularly hit those in rural areas that have suffered from years of cuts backs including the closure of several hospitals.