Alliance Health Spokesperson, Paula Bradshaw MLA, has welcomed the Health Minister’s statement to the Assembly on Trust recovery plans after the pandemic.
The South Belfast MLA said: “The Health Minister offered a stark warning to the Assembly that the Health Service already faced huge challenges before the pandemic and these have been exacerbated by it. No one should be under any illusions that this is the time for decisive action on re-starting and reforming services.
“Nevertheless, the Minister offered a positive view that there will now be a wider understanding of the immense challenges ahead, and that we must now work collectively to implement the changes needed.
“It is now clear to everyone that we can no longer ‘protect the NHS’ by standing still or defending the status quo – the status quo is, as the Minister stated, a Service which falls short of the universal provision required.
“What we need now is long-term investment and full transparency and accountability within the reform process, with the appropriate involvement of all sectors. It is essential that the role of the Independent Sector and the Voluntary and Community Sector is detailed fully, so that everyone is on the same direction of travel.
“If the Minister is prepared, as he stated, to take the difficult course to ensure the transformation which will bring about a truly universal service, he will enjoy the full support of the Alliance Party including for the funding required to make it happen.”