SDLP Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath has expressed his concern after a potential major incident was declared at Antrim Area Hospital.
There were 62 patients waiting to be admitted to the hospital on Tuesday – the highest ever recorded.
South Down MLA Mr McGrath said:
“My thoughts go out to the staff and patients caught up in the potential major incident at Antrim Area Hospital today. Today’s news will cause considerable concern for patients and their families, but I know staff will be working tirelessly to ensure that every patient receives the best care possible. It’s deeply regrettable that staff have been placed in this position where they are dealing with unimaginable pressures.
“This incident underlines the crisis ongoing in our health service, years of mismanagement and a failure to implement reform have gotten us to this point. It’s not just Antrim Area Hospital, many of our hospitals are struggling to deal with the demand for care and all it takes is one or two particularly bad days to tip them over the edge.
“We need to take urgent action to save our health service before it's too late. It’s unconscionable that the DUP have collapsed our Executive before an agreement could be reached on a multi-year budget that puts our health service first. It’s time politicians stopped putting their parties’ interests before those of local communities and focused on the issues that matter to people in their daily lives.”