Health Minister Robin Swann has today announced proposals for £110 million to be earmarked for health staff – an extra £30 million more than previously advocated by the Department of Health.
Said the Foyle MLA said: “I welcome this news and applaud the decisive action from Minister Swann and colleagues around the Executive table.
“This is a good day for the health service across the North, when we finally start to recognise our greatest asset is our staff and we have to remunerate them appropriately.
“It is unacceptable that nurses and health workers had to strike and lose out on pay in order to achieve pay justice.”
He added: “Nobody is in any doubt about the scale of the challenge facing our health service.
“It is welcome that the Executive took decisive steps today to address the immediate issues of pay parity, patient safety and waiting lists.
“Parties are united in a determination to ensure high quality health and social care for everyone in Northern Ireland, and will now work together to ensure an appropriate financial package to enable us to deliver on other commitments within New Decade, New Approach.
“However, it is concerning that the Health Minister indicated that a proportion of the monies for pay parity, approximately £30 million, has been financed through drawing forward proposed funding allocations for future years.
“This is another reason why we must begin to take seriously a transformation agenda that will allow us to have a sustainable and properly resourced health service into the next decade.”