We’re developing a two-tier health system in NI, says McAllister, regarding children’s waiting lists report

Alliance Health spokesperson Nuala McAllister MLA has said that the current state of children’s health waiting lists is unacceptable, and that both appropriate funding and an expertly researched action plan are needed to tackle the issue.

Health Nuala McAllister

She was responding to a newly published report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), which detailed that waiting lists rose by 172% for general outpatient care over the course of seven years. It also reported there being a record high of 22,272 children waiting to be seen, representing a 22% increase in the space of a year.
The North Belfast MLA has said: “Both as a member of Health Committee, and as a parent to two young children myself, the gravity of what’s been highlighted in this report is far from lost on me.
Those who can afford to are choosing not to wait, and many are being forced to turn to the private sector for their child’s healthcare, effectively creating a two-tier health system in Northern Ireland. This simply isn't acceptable.
“Experts from organisations such as the RCPCH are telling the Department what can and should be done in terms of cutting down these waiting lists. Of course, we need the appropriate funding and multi-year budgets, but there also needs to be transparency and accountability around where that funding is going to go.
“That is why we also need an action plan, reflective of this expert advice, laying out how any funding is going to be used to achieve the change needed. Without that, the crisis just going to deepen.
“Alongside my colleague Danny Donnelly, Vice Chair of the Health Committee, we will continue to liaise with RCPCH and others to chart the best course forward in improving health outcomes for children across Northern Ireland.”