Falklands approves additional medical funding
The Falkland Islands Standing Finance Committee met in the Liberation Room this week and approved initial funding of £600,000, then £200,000 annually, for an Arthroplasty ‘Catch-Up’ Plan to treat Islanders who have been waiting for hip or knee replacements.
The original Executive Council paper says, “The KEMH (King Edward VII Memorial Hospital) have secured access to hip and knee replacement with Spire Healthcare, a chain of independent hospitals in the UK.”
MLA Leona Roberts said she supported the plan, commenting that the team at Health and Social Services had done excellent work. MLA Gavin Short commended his colleague, MLA John Birmingham, for “championing” the scheme.
Management Accountant Mark Rutherford briefed the committee on the Revised Full Year Budget, which includes an additional £662,000 for Development & Commercial Services, £1,015,000 for Health & Social Services, £487,000 for the Public Works Department and £492,000 for Executive Management, a total of £2,656,000.
Despite this, the year-to-date surplus at the of May was £26.4 million, “primarily driven by corporation tax receipts greater than budget and earlier than anticipated,” according to the report.
The report also said that the electric price increase from December first, 2022 had contributed half a million pounds to the favorable variance. MLAs Gavin Short and Leona Roberts asked to discuss electricity card prices, but were told it was scheduled for the next meeting of the committee, in early August.
The committee approved funds of £5,700 for the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel at Pangbourne College, near Reading in Berkshire, to be used for new hymn books.
The recommendation to approve the funds noted that, “Following the accession of King Charles III, the hymn books at Pangbourne Chapel require updating and replacing. In addition, it is noted that 80% of the book stock are over a decade old and in poor condition due to their constant use throughout the year.” (PN)