Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 10:08 UK

NI 'needs extra swine flu funds'

Swine flu public health poster
Swine flu is expected to stretch health budgets

The DUP MP Iris Robinson has said the UK government must give more funding to Northern Ireland to tackle swine flu.

She wants the costs of vaccinations and other resources to be met by the Treasury rather than "an excessive burden" falling on Stormont.

She said:"The Northern Ireland health budget and Executive's finances overall are already hugely overstretched."

The Scottish government has also asked the Treasury to make extra funds available for swine flu vaccinations.

It's understood Northern Ireland's Finance Minister Sammy Wilson is still negotiating with the Treasury on funding for swine flu.

At a Department of Health briefing on Monday Northern Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said whatever money was needed to pay for the treatment of swine flu would be spent.

He said financial negotiations were a matter for the minister and he was in constant contact with the Executive about funding.

It is estimated that swine flu could cost the health service in Northern Ireland £55m.

Twenty-nine people have now died in the UK after contracting swine flu - 26 in England and three in Scotland.

Northern Ireland is one of the least affected areas in the UK.

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