Talks need to deliver immediate health transformation fund to solve waiting list crisis, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has said all parties in the talks should seek to deliver an additional health transformation fund to ensure adequate resources are in place to help GPs and solve the waiting list crisis.

The South Belfast MLA said even with a transformation process, it would be impossible to tackle the ongoing crisis without additional resources.

“Our health and social care service should be top priority at the Stormont talks. All parties should state clearly they are behind the direction of travel outlined by experts from Maurice Hayes in 2001 to Rafael Bengoa this year.

“We should also seek an additional health transformation fund from the UK Government for the remainder of the Assembly term, should the Executive get up and running this month. This fund would free up existing devolved resources to go into immediate health and social care needs, while also enabling investment in the transformation we need over the coming years so the systems are in place to deliver a high quality, universal health service free at point of access for the next generation.

“In return, we would share our learning with other parts of the UK and Ireland, notably the areas also embarking on integration of health and social care such as greater Manchester. The outcome would be value for public money and a win-win for Northern Ireland.

“Alliance would prefer to see more resources already allocated to health and education by stopping waste elsewhere, notably in segregated services. However, those savings would be gradual through time, whereas the need for people on waiting lists is immediate.

“Since that need is immediate, political action should be immediate – an immediate restoration of the Executive, with immediately available funding for day-to-day running of our health service and an immediate specific fund to enable medium-term transformation to ensure this crisis level is never again met.”

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