McAllister calls on the Minister of Health to step up in terms of junior doctor pay, following Alliance motion

Alliance Health spokesperson Nuala McAllister MLA has called on the Minister of Health to show leadership and ensure that junior doctors receive pay and working conditions which adequately represent the invaluable role they play in the health service.

Health Nuala McAllister

She was speaking following a debate in the Assembly today (21 May) around an Alliance motion recognising how integral junior doctors are in our healthcare system, particularly with the pressures the system is currently under, but also how increasingly untenable their positions are becoming in terms of pay and conditions.

The motion also calls on the Health Minister to keep engaging with the BMA to prevent any further strike action in the future.

The North Belfast MLA said: “I welcome that the Minister found space in his diary this morning to meet with the BMA’s Junior Doctor Committee, ahead of the Alliance motion coming to the Assembly, after a number of meeting requests.

“However, continuing to insist that there is simply no money available is not an option. Our health service is already on life support and cannot afford to be hit with industrial action on the scale of the upcoming junior doctor strikes.

“I have consistently called on the Health Minister to prioritise transformation of the health service and find efficiencies to capitalise on, as I understand the difficult financial situation currently facing all Executive departments. Despite this, we are still waiting for significant progress on too many of the Department of Health’s transformation projects.

“Now is the time for strong leadership, and the Minister has an opportunity to regain the trust and confidence of the junior doctor workforce. For the sake of the whole health service, I hope he takes it.”