Responding to the news of a Northern Ireland power share in Government, the BMA Chair of Council, Professor Philip Banfield said,
"The imminent return of an Assembly and Executive in Northern Ireland is welcome. The past two years post-pandemic should have been a time of recovery for their health service, instead waiting times have increased well in excess of those in the rest of the UK, and the service has continued to decline to the huge detriment of patients and those working in healthcare.
"Doctors in Northern Ireland are currently paid less than those working in the rest of the UK or Ireland and the junior doctors in Northern Ireland are currently balloting for industrial action because of their sheer frustration and anger at how far behind their counterparts they are falling, and the need to reverse many years of pay erosion. It is essential this is rectified to address the workforce crisis and ensure Northern Ireland is a place where doctors want to work.
"The incoming health minister and Executive will need immediate and recurring funding to deliver services and begin a robust process of planning and transforming health in Northern Ireland. There have been numerous reports and analyses done of the issues; the coming weeks and months must see the new minister, supported by their Executive colleagues, take the decisions needed to finally implement these plans and address the longstanding neglect the health service in Northern Ireland has faced."
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.