Tag "Health"

States must clear a path out of woods

IT HAS taken eight years but the States is Back in Black, earning more than it spends for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. Fans of Aussie rockers AC/DC might, however, want to wait a bit before reaching for their favourite album in celebration. As the president of Policy & Resources puts it, ‘We are not out of the woods yet’. For it’s not every year that the millions of pounds in reserves invested by the island will bring in returns of 14%. And piggy banks owned by committees such as Education and States Trading cannot be smashed and raided in this way every year.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

POLITICIANS the world over have become skilled at the non-apology apology. They say sorry ‘for any offence caused’, which leaves doubt as to whether any offence has been taken, or ‘to anyone who has taken offence’, which implies that only a sensitive few souls have taken umbrage while reasonable people are quite happy. Or they just apologise for the ‘unfortunate consequences’, which leaves room for the right actions leading to unfortunate, and unforeseeable, events.

Long-term solution required

THERE may be questions over how it was achieved and how long it took to get there but few could deny that the resumption of bowel cancer screening is good news. Indeed the most heartening message from Health & Social Care is that it is committed to continue screening beyond 2016. That will save lives and, ultimately, money.

Scene, lights… now, camera & action

SINCE the introduction of zero-10 in 2008 the States has been in part reliant on growing the economy to plug the black hole that was created by a dramatic drop in income. That the deficit is still stubbornly there, it stood at £24.5m. by the end of last year, is being taken by some as a sign that any belief in growth as the magic bullet is now misplaced. Policy & Resources has been told the answer now is about cutting services or significantly raising taxes. Neither route is particularly appetising for the public, but it is clear that efforts over the last eight years have not gone nearly far enough.

Alderney set for independent health review

Alderney's Mignot Memorial Hospital.

AN INDEPENDENT review of health and social care need, provision and governance in Alderney will be one of the first steps in restoring public confidence in health care services there, said the island’s Policy and Finance Committee chairman.

A year of making policy

IN A YEAR’S time, and then each subsequent June, the new government system reaches an important landmark. In June 2017, deputies will gather to debate the policy plans of each of the principal committees before finally signing off on the first over-arching Policy & Resource Plan, which sets the high level objectives and directions of not just this Assembly but those that follow. With much of May lost to internal elections it gives deputies 12 months to get their house in order and is intended as the culmination of a series of actions which started even before April’s general election.

Concern growing about power and calibre of senior civil servants

ONE of the main issues that came up in the pre-election hustings and debate was to do with the situation of the island being run not by politicians but by the civil servants. There is great concern, please note Chief Executive Paul Whitfield, about the calibre of those in great positions within the civil service. Questions are being asked about which ‘sir’ is responsible for employing the highly paid candidates for these positions.