Is £2.1m enough to deal with the problems in the Manx health service?
Treasury Minister Eddie Teare was questioned in the House of Keys over the sum allocated in this year’s Budget to a new Health Inspection Fund.
The fund has been set up to deal with issues highlighted by an independent review of island’s health services, whose first report published last month identified a catalogue of problems including weak management and a culture of blame.
In the Keys, Leonard Singer MHK (Ramsey) asked Mr Teare: ‘Does he really think £2.1m will put things right?’
He replied: ‘We do not know at the moment the issues that will have to be dealt with.’
He explained the £2.1m fund was there to meet ‘additional extraordinary costs’ in connection with healthcare provision but the release of such funds would be subject to Treasury concurrence.
‘The fund has been created and is ready to be used for its stated purpose,’ he said.
He said it was now up to the new Minister for Health Howard Quayle MHK to discuss what needs to be done and the costs of doing so.
‘It’s up to us to work together to try to find a solution.’
He said departments may ‘in exceptional circumstances’ seek additional funding.
‘It’s not for me to pre-judge the outcome of the Minister’s work,’ he said. Brenda Cannell MHK (Douglas East) asked if he would support Mr Quayle if more money was needed.
‘I can’t give a blank cheque to anybody,’ Mr Teare replied.