Alliance Party Assembly Spokesperson Kieran McCarthy has said that health service personnel deserve great credit for bringing down waiting lists, but much remains to be done.
The Ards Alderman stated:
“The Minister talks of a 21st-century health service and I share this objective.
“I recognize that the Government has come to understand that it is unacceptable that people wait years for operations. For many people, something as basic as a hip replacement has become effectively a death sentence due to the length of the wait. Others have been unable to get on with their lives due to lack of certainty concerning treatment.
“Priority action in this area has brought waiting times down, and many people will appreciate this.
“However, there are still too many people waiting too long for relatively basic treatment. We remain well behind Great Britain – itself hardly exemplary.
“Many people emphasize to me that it will take innovative solutions and a system based, as far as possible, on the talents of those working within it rather than outside agencies and contractors.”