BMA announce new leader for doctors in Northern Ireland

by BMA Northern Ireland media team.

Press release from BMA Northern Ireland.

Location: Northern Ireland
Published: Tuesday 2 July 2024
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Dr Alan Stout has been elected chair of the BMA’s Northern Ireland Council, the most senior BMA committee in the country which represents and works on behalf all doctors in the health service here.

Dr Stout takes over from Dr Tom Black who chaired the committee for the last six years.

Speaking about his election, Dr Stout said he was “honoured” to be taking up the post.

“I am under no illusion of the work ahead as chair of BMA Northern Ireland Council. It is an extremely uncertain time in the health service. Doctors in our hospitals and GP surgeries are being forced to deliver care in a system reeling from years of political absenteeism, underfunding, declining workforce numbers and the worst waiting lists in the UK. Add in years of below inflationary and delayed pay rises and workforce morale has never been lower. When we see our colleagues working outside of Northern Ireland on better pay and conditions, it should come as no surprise that for the first time this year we see junior doctors taking strike action and other branches in pay disputes with government.

“However, these obstacles are not unsurmountable. The pandemic response proved that coordinated, brave decision making to protect the health service and its patients can be taken quickly. I believe we need that sort of bravery now from our political leaders and the Department of Health with regards resolving doctors’ pay disputes and improving terms and conditions, urgent health service transformation, harnessing new technologies to ease staff workloads and streamlined multidisciplinary working between primary and secondary care. As chair of Northern Ireland Council, I will work hard to ensure doctors voices are heard every step of the way.”

Dr Stout has been chair of the Northern Ireland general practitioners committee for the last six years and he currently works as a GP in East Belfast.

Notes to editors

  • Dr Stout takes commences his role as chair of BMA’s Northern Ireland Council from 11 July 2024.
  • For more details on the work of Northern Ireland Council, visit https://www.bma.org.uk/nic
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