Dr Tom Black, BMA Northern Ireland council chair said, “Today’s plans to further ease restrictions are a welcome step. While we still have a very high level of covid in the community particularly among children, thankfully that is not translating into large numbers of patients needing hospital care or treatment in an ICU.
“It will be no surprise to anyone however that we still urge a cautious approach. We will need to keep monitoring the case numbers and be willing to act if we see case levels and hospitalisations rising. It is incumbent on everyone to act responsibly and take whatever precautions they can to keep themselves, their family and the wider community safe.
“There are many clinically extremely vulnerable people who will be worried by today’s announcements and who will be extremely worried about going out and about if there are not precautions in place. So, if you can continue to wear a mask and keep your distance you should do so. This is particularly important in healthcare settings where they may be vulnerable patients present. It is also important to note that if you test positive for Covid either via a PCR test or on an LFT that you must still isolate for the required amount of time.
“As we begin to move away from this peak of infection, we will no doubt return to looking at our long and increasing waiting lists. We cannot go back to how it was before. Everyone here deserves better, and needs a health service that can see and treat them in a reasonable timeframe. We need to address our workforce issues including retirements, exhaustion, the training experience our junior doctor have had over the past two years and our punitive pension taxation issues.”
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.