Speaking about the Executive draft budget unveiled today (Friday, 10 December, 2021), Dr Tom Black, chair of BMA’s Northern Ireland Council, said: “A proposed budget of £21billion for health is welcome news. Allocating money for a three-year period also allows our health and social care services some breathing space to adequately plan ahead for what will be an extremely tough few years for staff and patients alike.
“Years of systematic underinvestment in our health service and its workforce has been thrown into sharp focus by the ongoing pandemic and brought us to where we are now - an exhausted workforce facing the worst winter we are ever likely to see. We would urge that any agreed budget allocation for the Department of Health is used to prioritise the transformation of health and social care services. That includes: a fully-financed workforce planning strategy to support the restart of elective care and drive down our appalling waiting lists; the extension of multi-disciplinary teams throughout the rest of the country which are vital to the survival of general practice, and; reforming the current pension taxation system that imposes unfair financial penalties on doctors working extra shifts to cover staffing gaps and drive down waiting lists.
“We look forward to engaging with the Executive on how this can be taken forward.”
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.