The SDLP wants to create a modern, financially sustainable Health and Social Care system that delivers universal, high quality and safe services that are free at the point of delivery.
The SDLP recognises that health systems which are orientated towards primary care services achieve better health outcomes, with higher rate of patient satisfaction at a lower overall cost. General practice is the backbone of primary care and it is most effective when integrated across the wider primary care team, including nurses, pharmacists and other allied health professionals.
The failure to support primary care has led to difficulties in terms of GP recruitment and retention, a lack of capital investment in primary care facilities while at the same time there are increased workloads for GPs due to ever increasing demand for services.
Northern Ireland has higher levels of mental ill-health than any other region of these islands. It is estimated that one in four adults here will suffer from a mental health problem at some stage in their life.
A research project undertaken by the Commission for Victims and Survivors and Ulster University found that a staggering 213,000 of the people in Northern Ireland suffer from some sort of mental illness and that almost half of these are directly related to the Troubles.