Mid and East Antrim councillor Ruth Wilson has been named as TUV candidate for East Antrim in next year’s Assembly election.
The announcemnet was made at the annual party conference, where the Coast Road representative outlined her concerns for the future of the NHS.
Mrs Wilson, who has worked in the NHS for 30 years, said she “knows only too well what is at stake”.
She told fellow TUV members: “The NHS is under threat. The pressures at present are created by lack of investment, under-staffing, bureaucracy, poor planning, and a lack of support.
“Residential care homes, staff and most importantly the residents are still under threat: we need to make this clear – the closure agenda is still at the heart of the minister’s plans. These care homes are essential.
“The state sector should provide stable and caring homes, which are based on the needs of our population, not on profit-making.”
“The minister’s U-turn on closures and new admissions is welcome, but this must be followed through with an absolute commitment to the statutory care sector. Anything less than that is unacceptable.”
Mrs Wilson also hit out at the situation regarding waiting lists, adding: “The shocking revelation that some patients are waiting 18 months to get a hospital appointment is indicative of the failings of this Government.
“The great thing about the NHS is that you and I should have access to it when we need it. Some people need it more than others, but when you do need it, it should be there for you. When services are removed, downgraded or under so much pressure that they cannot function – then they are no longer accessible.”