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Bradshaw says neurology waiting lists latest example of paying for political irresponsibility

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has branded the latest neurology waiting lists “a disgrace” and cautioned they are the latest example of people paying for others’ political irresponsibility.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after it was revealed the number of people waiting for a first neurology outpatient appointment here has more than doubled in the past four years. More than 11,000 patients have also been waiting more than one year to be seen.

“The doubling of waiting lists in the past four years is the latest example of the health service descending into a two-tier system, with those who can afford it getting quick diagnoses and treatment while others are left to their anxiety about what is wrong for over a year. This is now a dysfunctional system,” she said.

“At the heart of this is the refusal of those with the biggest mandates to take the responsibility for governing which comes with those mandates. They know well a deal has long been available but decisions which are unpopular in the short term will need to be made for the long-term good of the healthcare system and public health.

“We must never stop being shocked by figures such as these, which are unacceptable and show a decline in planning for the future, going back many years. It is time for comprehensive transformation or there simply will not be a public health service for the next generation - and it is time those with the big mandates took responsibility for delivery of it.”