Health Minister must produce detailed action plan on reform, says Bradshaw

The Health Minister must produce a detailed action plan for implementation of proposed reforms to the health service, Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw has said.

Party health spokesperson Ms Bradshaw was speaking during an Assembly debate on the Executive response to the recent Bengoa Report, which made a series of recommendations for health here. An Alliance amendment calling for such an action plan passed unanimously.

“If we do not reform it, we will not be able to afford a health service free at the point of access in 10 – 15 years. The system is in some ways broken, so it needs fixed. For starters, we need to centralise specialist services to maximise available expertise and ensure it is done at the point of entry to the system, most obviously in primary care.

“The Alliance amendment recognises the value of reform, and the need to support it in principle and without reservation. Otherwise the health service will simply not be viable and the fantastic workers within it will not be able to deliver the results needed.

“However, the Minister’s announcements on the matter so far have been vague. Therefore, we need clarity – what is the action plan, where are the resources for it and who is going to be responsible for delivery?

“Transformation is possible. But it will take commitment, courage and clarity. Where those exist, Alliance will support every step. Where it does not, we will provide the constructive challenge needed.”

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