Overhaul of NI hospital services announced


The North's Health Minister has proposed an overhaul of hospital care as well as additional funding for ambulance services. He said yesterday that all hospitals in Northern Ireland would "change for the better" as a result. Mr John McFall, setting out his vision of hospital services in Northern Ireland in the 21st century, promised an extra £15 million to develop and improve the ambulance service over the next three years. He said, however, that ultimately the shake-up of hospital services would be a matter for the new Assembly.

He also pledged that the new proposals would not involve hospital closures or reductions in health expenditure. "Let me say clearly and unambiguously that this strategy is not about cutting expenditure, nor is it about closing hospitals. None will close, and all will change - and change for the better."