Root and branch review for Health Service
Thursday, 3 November 2016
A 10-YEAR plan to transform Northern Ireland's struggling health service has been launched by minister Michelle O'Neill and welcomed by local Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan. The Stormont blueprint is the response to an independent analysis of the system by a panel of experts.
Describing the current health and social care system being at "breaking point", the Health Minister stressed the need for radical change.
Mr McMullan warmly welcomed the launch of the new plan, labelling the news of a root and branch review "great news."
Although Minister O'Neill said hospital closures are not envisaged in the action plan, there will be a reconfiguration of the services provided by the network of existing facilities.
Mr McMullan continued: "This will all take time and money, it's not something that's going to happen overnight and there's lots that has to be tackled."
Mrs O'Neill said last week that it was crucial to redesign the system in conjunction with health service workers and patients, with agreed actions only materialising after that engagement is conducted.
One of the more short-term objectives is the formulation of a plan by January to tackle lengthy waiting lists.
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