Bradshaw says latest health service warning another reason to reform Executive

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said the latest warning about the state of the health service is another reason the Executive must be restored as soon as possible.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after Ian Crawford, the Vice-President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said “We have fallen off the cliff and the ground is racing up to meet us” regarding the ongoing pressures in emergency care.

“This latest warning about the perilous state of emergency care will come as no surprise,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“A constant factor in the past in Northern Ireland politics has been the notion doing nothing is an option. The state of some aspects of our health service now means doing nothing would show a callous disregard for patient safety.

“It is now time to restore an Executive on the basis of a consensus which will see the Assembly restored as a functioning chamber to provide proper debate and scrutiny. Nowhere is this more important than in health, where reform based on the Bengoa proposals is vital if we wish to have a public health system at all through the coming decade.

“Already people with means are being forced to pay to go private even for quite basic appointments because the public health system is already past breaking point. This is why we do not have time for further brinkmanship.

“All the parties know what has to be done. Now it is time to do it.”