Scrutiny concerned with handling of Health budgets

28th October 2021

​A public hearing with the Minister for Health and Social Services on the Government Plan 2022-25 has raised several concerns for the Health and Social Security Scrutiny Panel regarding the Government's handling of budgets for significant Health projects such as the Jersey Care Model and the Digital Care Strategy.

During the hearing, the Panel were informed that:

  • The sustainable healthcare funding, a key component of the Jersey Care Model, which the States Assembly was told would be presented by the Government in July 2021 has been delayed, potentially until 2022.

  • The transfer of funds from Health Insurance Fund (HIF) into the Consolidated Fund to pay for Tranche 2 of the Jersey Care Model in 2022 has not yet been agreed and there are no signs of alternative funding if this is not done.

  • £1 million of funding allocated to the Digital Care Strategy from the Health Insurance Fund for this year has been deferred until next year, and could be used to support funding for the Our Hospital project instead.

  • Associate Managing Director of Adult Social Care, Isabelle Watson, admitted that there "might not be" enough money in the Government Plan to meet the "huge demand" for mental health support.

  • There is a one-year backlog in the waiting list for breast screening. The backlog in waiting lists in general, along with the level of funding and work required to address this, is of particular concern to the Panel.

  • There is concern for the lack of people receiving cervical screening and an awareness campaign is being planned to tackle this.

Chair of the Health and Social Security Panel, Deputy Mary Le Hegarat, said "Following the hearing with the Health and Social Services Minister today, the Panel is concerned with the way in which budgets for the Jersey Care Model and digital Health projects are being handled by the Government. The States Assembly agreed that the Health Insurance Fund was to be allocated specifically for these projects and seek reassurance that the deferred funds will not be spent elsewhere.

"With significant waiting lists and the crucial need for improvements in mental health facilities and children's health services, the Panel question whether the proposed budget allocated to these areas within the Government Plan will adequately cover these costs." 

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