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Money spent on swine flu cannot be justified

26th April 2010

Dr Brian Dunn, Northern Ireland's chairman of the British Medical Association's GP committee, has said the huge sum spent on swine flu is "hard to justify".

swine flu

His comments came a year after the swine flu pandemic started. In Northern Ireland 18 peopled died from conditions linked with the virus and two people died abroad from illnesses connected with the disease.

The Department of Health has spent £44 million because of swine flu.

Dr Dunn said: "I would not like to be accounting for that. At a time when money is scarce and is likely to get scarcer; at a time when waiting lists are going up; at a time when we are talking about cuts in front-line services, I think it is very hard to justify that."

In February it was revealed that 500,000 swine flu vaccines had not been used in Northern Ireland.

However another BMA member argued that it was a good thing to have the vaccines in reserve.

"I think it is better to have vaccine left over than to be left short," Dr Tom Black said. "If we had needed to vaccinate the whole population then we would have needed a lot more vaccine.

He added that the swine flu outbreak was the fourth flu pandemic in the last hundred years and the other three had caused millions of deaths.

 

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