Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has warned the outcome of a survey of emergency medicine consultants demonstrates the necessity to deliver health reforms outlined in the Bengoa Report.
Ms Bradshaw was speaking after the results of the survey by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine of more than 70 per cent of Northern Ireland’s 88 emergency medicine consultants. Among its findings, 91 per cent of respondents do not believe it is sustainable working in emergency care in the current environment.
She said if the Bengoa proposals were not delivered, emergency care will be put under “intolerable strain”.
“This should serve as a wake-up call to those who profess to want good government here. The survey stated some consultants feel ashamed and appalled by the state of emergency medicine here – those parties with the power to form an Executive should be the ones ashamed and appalled, not those working in the system.
“Ultimately, people were elected with large mandates in March 2017 to take responsibility for delivering good government, including transformation of the health system to ensure the improvement of emergency care. As yet another round of talks begin, it is time those who received the biggest mandates took on the responsibility which comes with them and focused on the issues which affect our daily lives.
“If we are to implement these reforms, we need to recognise we currently look at the issue the wrong way around. Staff numbers are inadequate to cope with demand, but we should emphasise the key is to channel demand more effectively so fewer people end up requiring emergency care.
“I want to see transformation delivered so patients accessing health and social care receive better, faster treatment – and so those working within the system have an improved working environment.”