Urgent changes are needed to how healthcare is funded in Alderney as the island’s accounts plunge into the red.
Last year saw primary care in the island nationalised and the running of the ambulance service being transferred to St John Emergency Ambulance Service.
Alderney representative Steve Roberts (pictured top) this morning told the States of Guernsey that steps to stabilise health and care provision has come at a considerable cost.
Alderney’s Budget shows that primary care, social support and welfare services costs shot up from an expected £14,500 to £235,000 in 2022, while the ambulance budget went from £70,670 to £420,475.
A boom in property taxes helped bring in £4m. against a budgeted £2.75m leaving the revenue budget £820,315 in surplus for 2022, but next year the Island is budgeting for a £433,395 deficit.
The primary care category is expected to go up to £375,000, ambulance to £438,070 with £100,000 being taken out of the Island’s reserves to help with ambulance set up costs.
Pictured: States of Alderney Representatives in Guernsey (l-r) Steve Roberts and Alex Snowdon.
“The steps to stabilise health and care provision has come at a considerable cost creating a significant and unforeseen financial pressure on government resulting in a deficit of several hundred thousand pounds in the 2023 Budget,” Mr Robert’s said in an update statement.
“As a one off, this can be met through the States of Alderney's limited reserve which has resulted from the surge in recent years in property sales, leading to an increase in property transfer duties.
“This isn't sustainable for either Aldenrey or Guernsey behind beyond this year and through the Alderney Care Board, a joint political forum between the two islands, there is a plan to work to accelerate a more effective delivery and funding model in order to place health and care system on a more sustainable footing.
“While providing health and care to 2000 people is challenging, this scale also provides a real opportunity to successfully bring the separate providers together and reassess how and where care is delivered. This can improve experiences for islanders, ultimately making the whole system more sustainable and more resilient.
“There will be difficult decisions as we determine what level of care is proportional to Alderney and how this should be funded. And we're grateful for the continued partnership working with the Policy and Resources Committee and the committee for Health and Social Care.”
St John took responsibility for the ambulance service at the start of this year. The Island Health Medical Centre was bought by the States in the Autumn.
“The transfer of this essential community service was necessary to maintain service levels and it is an important enabler in our long term aspirations for healthcare. It is however seen as a short-term to medium-term option and our efforts remain focused on evolving the model of care and the operation of the practice such that it can successfully transfer out of government ownership at the appropriate juncture.”
Doctor costs to rise in Alderney
Bailiwick governments nationalise Alderney GP
FOCUS: Who triggered the review of Alderney's ambulance service
States to increase investment in Alderney's ambulance service
Guernsey and Alderney ambulance partnership formalised
St John provides ambulance cover to Alderney service
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.