SDLP Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath MLA has welcomed confirmation from the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Health that officials will hold a meeting with political leaders to discuss priorities for the health service and the process of reform.
Mr McGrath has been calling for urgent intervention from political and health service leaders to address the crisis in emergency care that has become more acute over the last week.
Colin McGrath MLA said:
“Emergency departments are facing an incredibly challenging situation as pressure on bed spaces increases and patient flow blockages prevent service delivery. Without urgent intervention, the situation will get worse in winter, patients will receive poorer outcomes, health service staff will be pushed closer to breaking point and we will see further deterioration in services. No one wants to be in this situation but we need to act now to stop things getting worse.
“I welcome confirmation from the Department of Health that a further meeting to address health priorities and reform will take place with party health spokespeople next week. I have proposed a specific engagement process between political and health leaders to work together to address the crisis in emergency care and will again raise the need for urgent talks with officials.
“The scale of the challenge we’re facing is immense and it will not be solved in the short term but every day we delay is another day people face getting sicker waiting for admission to get the care they need. I am not prepared to stand by and watch that happen. The quickest way to take the action needed to address the situation is for the DUP to end their government boycott and put the health of the people we all represent before their own political interests. Political leaders need to get to work.”