Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Manx health department review 'crucial' after overspend

David Ashcroft Image copyright David Ashcroft
Image caption David Ashcroft has been a North Douglas MHK since 2016

A review of the Manx health department is "crucial" after Tynwald agreed to fund a third successive overspend, the health minister has said.

Tynwald approved additional funding of £9.5m for the current financial year after the overspend by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Since 2015, the department has overspent on its budget by £30.5m.

Health Minister David Ashford said the DHSC's performance was "unacceptable", making a review "absolutely essential."

In his first appearance in Tynwald since taking over the health role from Kate Beecroft eight days ago, Mr Ashcroft also confirmed proposed increases in prescription charges will not go ahead.

He said the island needed a health service "fit for the 21st century", but added that cost efficiency "cannot be at the cost of patient".

Treasury Minister Alf Cannan, who had made the initial call for a DHSC review, said the current system was "not sustainable" and the island's health service was at a "critical junction."

He said continued failures to stay within budget were a "matter a great concern".

The DHSC's annual budget is about £210m.

Mr Cannan said an independent review would be the first of a series of actions to get the DHSC on a sustainable footing.

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