The South Belfast MLA said this week’s announcement the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication, which can prevent HIV via a daily pill, would be made available in Scotland means Northern Ireland could be left behind.
“PrEP is also to be trialled in England. I had secured an agreement from the Health Minister in December Northern Ireland would seek to be part of that trial. All the evidence now suggests we will not be, and we will be left behind.
“If there is no Executive formed soon, we will likely find we are also missing out on equality of cancer treatment, an issue I was campaigning on and where there had been progress in the last Assembly. We have also seen a warning this week people with Parkinson’s are not seeing enough invested in drugs research and are missing out on essential reviews because of the lack of neurologists.
“Progress on health is endangered by the current stalling, and these things will not change while politicians seek further elections as populist vanity projects. We had an Assembly elected in March and there is no excuse for any party required to nominate Ministers not to do so. While there are indeed issues to be dealt with through a properly managed process, those elected five weeks ago need to recognise with a mandate comes a responsibility.
“People relying on the health service need an Executive in place immediately, not further squabbling.”