The crisis in Northern Ireland’s healthcare system is due to the increasing role of privatisation, the trade union NIPSA has said.
Research by the public service workers union has indicated that increasing privatisation was contributing to recent A&E problems and revealed the damage that will result from threatened closures to care homes for the elderly.
NIPSA General Secretary, Brian Campfield, warned that the Government was systematically undermining the NHS “by withdrawing from key areas of public sector provision, subsidising private medical provision’s control of waiting lists and failing to support with appropriate funding and staff a universally available public health system.”
He added: “Our 46,000 members are determined to hold all politicians to account on this issue and defend this jewel in the crown of the welfare state.”
NIPSA, along with SIPTU and other unions have also been at the forefront in defending public leisure centres in Belfast from outsourcing to the private sector. In response to this pressure from trade unions Belfast City Council agreed in early March to give the trade unions £10,000 to explore the possibility of in-house management.