Commenting on the Minister for Health’s announcement today of a new elective care framework, Dr Tom Black BMA NI Council chair said, “Today’s announcement from the Minister is welcome. As he points out our waiting lists are truly shocking and radical action is needed to address them and offer some relief to people who are despairing of ever getting their health issues addressed. As well as tackling the sharp end – the people waiting, we also need to address the root cause, the way our health system is organised and managed and plans to group some services together and maximise capacity are moves in the right direction. We would also support the call for a multi-year budget.
“However, central to these plans are people, and doctors across Northern Ireland are stretched, burnt-out and demoralised and these plans need to be considered in that light. The minister has previously said that staff needed a chance to rest and we hope he will honour that promise. Plans to increase working hours via additional work have the added problem of affecting pension contributions for some doctors and therefore I would strongly encourage the minister to introduce pension mitigations here as quickly as possible to address that issue. Additional work also needs to be open to all grades of doctors irrespective of their working hours.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.