Bradshaw says political leaders should be shocked by waiting times report

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said political leaders should be shocked by a new report which shows none of the Department of Health targets for waiting times are currently being met.

Ms Bradshaw said the report, by the Patient Client Council and entitled Our Lived Experience of Waiting for Healthcare, showed the need for restoration of the Executive to deal with health reform.

“Political leaders should be as appalled as I am to find half of people on waiting lists report their health deteriorating merely while they wait for a vital referral, test or appointment. While the statistics alone are shocking, the lived experience of those actually on waiting lists should cause political leaders to cringe at their failure to prioritise these issues.

“Some of the immediate solutions – such as better communication with people on waiting lists – are contained in the report itself. Others, such as the shift towards resourcing primary care and thus reducing waiting lists in the first place, require a reform process led by a Minister.

“Political leaders in the bigger parties should be utterly ashamed. People are suffering directly because those with the biggest mandate fail to take the responsibility that comes with that. It is time for a re-assessment of priorities and a government that works on ending the appalling experience of tens of thousands of people waiting, often over a year, for vital treatment and tests they should be having immediately.”

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