McCarthy says Ulster Hospital crisis needs resolved ahead of Christmas rush

Alliance Health spokesperson Kieran McCarthy has said the Health Minister needs to resolve the ongoing crisis at a local hospital before a potential Christmas rush.

The Ulster Hospital cancelled three outpatient clinics this week as staff coped with “unprecedented pressures” at the accident and emergency department. Although ambulances are no longer being diverted from the hospital, the A&E remains under “extreme pressure”.

Strangford MLA Mr McCarthy said the Minister needed to “step up to the mark” ahead of the festive period.

“Christmas traditionally has the highest number of admissions to emergency departments. With the Ulster Hospital already suffering a crisis which appears to be ongoing, there is a worry that will be exacerbated over the next few weeks.

“The Health Committee has written to the Minister and asked for him to appear at one of its meetings in order to explain what he is doing to resolve this matter. There has been some money invested lately in the health service but that is only a short-term fix.

“We need a resolution and we need it now, or else the problems at the Ulster Hospital will only be the tip of the iceberg.”

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