McCarthy: Health Minister needs to commit to wider reform

Alliance Health spokesperson Kieran McCarthy has said while today’s announcement shaking up the health service is welcome, there must be a commitment from the Minister to wider and more radical reform.

Speaking after Simon Hamilton’s statement today (Wednesday), Mr McCarthy said the streamlining of structures was important to help make the overall service more efficient, however, wider interventions are required to tackle the causes of continuous problems affecting the health care system. The announcement came in the wake of the Donaldson Report reviewing the health service.

“The Minister’s announcement is a significant step in the right direction and should be acknowledged as such,” he said.

“But while any form of streamlining is welcome, today’s move in itself will not address the root and branch problems we see each day. This move is not likely to make the major reforms that are needed to help relieve daily pressures and make the health service more effective and financially sustainable.

“Demand on the service and spending pressures are continuously rising, while the service delivery models are outmoded. There are fundamental problems, including the balance of spending being wrong, which will not be tackled by this move in itself.”

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