Health Management Costs 'Lowest in UK' Ulster Leading Way on Value for Money, Says Survey

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MANAGEMENT costs in Northern Ireland's health service are the lowest in the UK, it was revealed yesterday.

An independent study also claimed that the proposed shake-up of the Province's health-care system is unlikely to make any significant savings in management costs.

The report, which examines organisational costs in the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, has been written by management consultants MSA Ferndale and was commissioned by the Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Services (NICON).

It reveals that, out of every pounds 1,000 spent on health and social services in Northern Ireland, just pounds 61 is spent on managing these services - less than the average for England, Scotland and Wales.

It also highlighted that, in England and Scotland, the percentage of expenditure that went on management costs increased by four per cent while, in Northern Ireland and Wales, the percentage decreased by a similar amount.

Dr Paula Kilbane, chair of NICON, said the study highlights that Ulster's expenditure on management costs is more cost effective than anywhere in the UK.

"We have very scarce resources for health in Northern Ireland and we don't want to do anything other than get best value for money in respect of how we manage that," she said. …