MLA calls for health service reform

Stewart Dickson discusses current health service challenges at the NICON event.  INCT 04-720-CON

Stewart Dickson discusses current health service challenges at the NICON event. INCT 04-720-CON

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East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has joined with health care professionals and other stakeholders to call for leadership and reform of health and social care in Northern Ireland.

Speaking after Monday’s Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care (NICON) election briefing at Stormont, he said: “Recent years have seen a serious deterioration in waiting times for outpatient appointments, surgery and A&E. It is clear that our health service needs reform; its current structure, designed in the 1970s is no longer fit for purpose.

“We need a health service that moves with the times, improves care provision for the elderly and ensures that the resources and not just the responsibilities move into the community with the care.

“Almost half of people are waiting over 18 weeks for their first outpatient appointment, despite the target being nine weeks.

“We cannot afford to put off reform for much longer. The people who elect us pay their taxes and national insurance, and deserve the quality cradle-to-grave healthcare they were promised.”