Inadequate pay and conditions risk patient safety, says Donnelly, calling for urgent dialogue between DoH and junior doctors

Alliance Health spokesperson Danny Donnelly MLA has called for urgent and open dialogue between the Health Minister and junior doctors ahead of newly announced strike action.

Health Danny Donnelly

The British Medical Association (BMA)’s Northern Ireland Junior Doctor Committee (NIJDC) has published planned strike action for two separate 48-hour walkouts, taking place from 22 May-24 May, and 6 June-8 June.
The East Antrim MLA has said: “It’s incredibly disappointing that talks have broken down between the Department of Health and the NIJDC, particularly when our health service is in as critical a state as it is.
“Junior doctors play a vital role right across the health service in keeping it functioning day-to-day and they deserve to be paid in a way that’s reflective of this. This also means that everything possible must be done to prevent industrial action on such a scale as this, which would inevitably be hugely disruptive to an already strained system.
“Where adequate pay and conditions are not provided, workforce recruitment and retention suffers. As a result, patient safety ultimately ends up being put at risk when the service cannot ensure that people receive the safe and quality care they need, when they need it. NI continues to lag further behind the rest of the UK, and this must be addressed.
“I would urge the Health Minister to engage with the BMA without any further delay on this, with a view to resolving the current dispute in a timely manner before any planned strike action takes place.”