< Back To News

Health Minister should urgently convene summit to ensure surgical services can operate throughout winter, says Bradshaw

The Health Minister must convene a summit with doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to ensure surgical services can operate throughout the winter, as an initial step to tackling growing waiting lists, Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said.

“Alliance has been concerned about the mixed communications around school and further education re-opening, and this only re-emphasises why it is vital to develop and communicate a plan for dealing with waiting lists in the context of winter pressures which we know will arise because of ongoing high coronavirus infection rates,” said the South Belfast MLA.

“The issue of maintaining surgical services is wholly within the Department of Health, and thus it is for the Department to develop and communicate a plan alongside doctors, nurses and allied health professionals for the next nine months – one which will be well understood by health service staff and the public.

“I strongly support the Royal College of Surgeons’ call for a process which enables recovery in the fullest sense, not ongoing attrition and slow ongoing slippage to a two-tier service where those who can afford to go private and those without the means are left to suffer.

“With additional money arising from Barnett Consequentials, it is vital we have a clear plan of recovery and reform supported by the professionals by the end of this month to take us through the winter.”