Responding to the announcement of funding for health in Northern Ireland as part of the Conservative Party / DUP deal, BMA Northern Ireland council chair Dr John D Woods said: "Obviously we welcome additional funding for health here. However, it is now essential that this money is actually spent addressing the issues we face and not used as a quick fix solution that does nothing to address the long term sustainability of healthcare in Northern Ireland.
"There are a number of priority areas that need tackled urgently; the crisis in general practice has been well documented and the BMA has made it clear that a rescue package is needed now. We also need to take steps now to address the growing shortage of doctors across Northern Ireland in order to meet population needs.
"Alongside this we need to see this money being used in a strategic way, not merely to address waiting lists. The money needs to be used to support genuine system and service transformation, as set out in the Bengoa review. This includes developing effective systems for elective and urgent care.
"It would be tempting to try to clear the waiting lists in one swoop with this money, however a previous attempt to do this just didn’t work as a sustainable way of addressing the problem. This investment gives us a real opportunity to implement a radical and far-reaching transformation of health in Northern Ireland.
"We will be seeking a meeting with the Department of Health to lay out our ideas for how this money can be best used."
For further information please contact:
BMA Northern Ireland, 16 Cromac Place, Cromac Wood, Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 2JB
028 9026 9666 (switchboard)
028 9026 9672 (direct line)
074 0880 9519 (mobile / out of hours)
Email: [email protected]
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