Bradshaw says lack of political direction barrier to true reform of health system

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has given a cautious welcome to money for implementation of the Bengoa recommendations into health but said the lack of political direction is the barrier to true reform.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after a written statement from the Secretary of State outlined budget allocations. It included funding for Bengoa reforms to health to commence.

“I have long campaigned for the urgent provision of extra money for the health service, as it will enable it to deliver for the public much more efficiently in future. This is particularly true for the money is intended for implementation of the Bengoa recommendations,” she said.

“There are significant gaps in areas across the health service such as elective surgery and social care, and improving technology for care workers, where this money can provide real value and better outcomes for those who rely on the service.

“However, the fact remains a year ago this week we elected politicians to take decisions but too many have failed to accept the responsibility which comes with the mandate they received. The lack of political direction and decision-making is the barrier to the true reform needed.

“While they continue to shirk that responsibility, we need to take this opportunity to engage honestly with the public on what this transformation is about and on why it is so vital it is properly resourced. Even though others are denying us the opportunity to play the full role we want to have, I and my party colleagues will do all we can to support that transformation process and ensure it is adequately funded to its conclusion.”

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