Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said proposed changes to the Ambulance Service should be backed as an urgent part of the health transformation programme.
The South Belfast MLA was speaking after the service launched a consultation on the proposed changes, which include improving how calls are handled to identify sicker patients faster, and creating more than 300 jobs, including 125 paramedics. The consultation will be open for 12 weeks.
"The Ambulance Service is an integral part of the health service, linking in to primary care provision and emergency departments directly, and its systems are already behind those in use in the rest of the UK and Ireland," said Ms Bradshaw.
"There must be absolutely no question about the value of the proposed changes, as they strengthen the Ambulance Service and match precisely the transformation agenda by ensuring at the point of access to the health service the patient immediately receives the most appropriation provision and prioritisation.
"A more efficient Ambulance Service - better equipped and staffed - will mean a more efficient health service ensuring people access the treatment they need faster. There should be no delay in action to implement the changes as appropriate after the consultation."