Northern Ireland council

The Northern Ireland (NI) council focuses on matters relevant to the medical profession and healthcare in Northern Ireland; formulating policy and ensuring it is implemented.

Location: Northern Ireland
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Thursday 18 July 2024
Voting card article illustration

Our priorities

The health system in Northern Ireland is under significant pressure. Doctors are struggling to deliver timely, high quality and safe services to the population. Waiting lists are at an all-time high and we have exhausted and burnt-out staff.   

Northern Ireland currently is an unattractive place to work with many doctors retiring early, reducing shifts and leaving to work elsewhere, including Ireland. Improving pay, terms and conditions is key to addressing this. 

The medical workforce is no longer growing at the pace needed. Working conditions are extremely challenging and pay has stagnated and no longer reflects the level of responsibility doctors have.

General practice is unstable with a significant increase in practices handing back their contracts; this can no longer be ignored, and immediate action is needed.

Patient safety is being compromised and doctor’s professional values are being put at risk. It is clear health needs transformed and reformed.

Supporting the medical workforce

We want the Department of Health to:  

  • immediately pay the 2023-24 DDRB uplift of 6% for all doctors
  • commit to an additional immediate above inflationary pay uplift for all doctors in Northern Ireland 
  • work with BMA NI to achieve full pay restoration   
  • commit to medical workforce planning to ensure there are enough doctors to provide high quality and safe patient care  
  • review the fees and costs associated with studying medicine and junior doctor training so that no-one is deterred from becoming a doctor due to cost.  

General practice

Increased investment in general practice is urgently needed as well as simplifying the current contract.

This would include: 

  • a state backed indemnity scheme such as is available in the other nations, to attract new GPs, and to ensure parity with GPs in other nations 
  • a commitment to annually review and fund the number of doctors in training to ensure numbers reflect population requirements  
  • roll out funding for MDTs (Multi-Disciplinary Teams) across Northern Ireland to ensure equitable access 
  • GP premises to be improved through proper funding and infrastructure planning to enable practices to house MDTs and attract new GPs to work in them  
  • an uplift in funding for general practice to help them address rising costs.

Transformation and reform

BMA NI is frustrated by the slow pace of transformation and reform of health and social care in Northern Ireland; plans have been made, but implementation has not followed.

The case for change has been clearly made. We do not need another plan or working group to delay the actions that are clearly needed to avert complete collapse of the health service.

The Department must prioritise the actions arising from the Bengoa Report to stabilise and transform the health service. 

NIC pensions sub-committee

Northern Ireland Council has established a subcommittee on pensions, bringing together our reps on the HSC pensions board, scheme advisory board and BMA Pensions Committee.

The purpose of the subcommittee is to:

  • ensure a coordinated and consistent approach to policy development
  • build and further develop organisational knowledge on pensions policy
  • support Northern Ireland Council to effectively represent members.

Tom Black

Anne Carson
David Farren
Stephen Moore

Johnny Burns
Paul Molloy
Alan Stout

Junior doctor:

Clodagh Corrigan


Our people

Chair: Dr Alan Stout

Deputy chair: TBC


A list of members of the BMA Northern Ireland council, including voting and non-voting members.

Dr Alan Stout

Deputy chair: TBC

GP representatives: 
Dr Allen Mc Cullough 
Dr Conor Moore 
Dr Conan Castles 
Dr Alan Stout 
Dr Andrew Wilson 

Consultant representatives:
Dr David Farren 
Dr Martin Tohill 
Dr Tim Mawhinney 
Dr Salman Mansoor 

Junior doctor representatives:
Dr Olubenga Alabi
Dr Mina Ragheb
Dr Steven Montgomery
Dr Fiona Griffin

SAS representatives:
Dr Siobhan Quinn
Dr Clodagh Corrigan
Medical Students: 
Mr Milan Kapoor  
Miss Rachel Lipson  

Retired Member:
Dr John Gerard Mackin
Vacant – other BOP

Other elected representatives:
Dr Michael McKenna
Dr Fiona McEvoy
Dr Paul Molloy

Our meetings

Northern Ireland council meetings are open to council members only.

Meeting dates:

  • Wednesday 5 October 2022 (Hybrid)
  • Wednesday 8 February 2023 (Hybrid)
  • Wednesday 7 June 2023 (Hybrid)


Our terms of reference

BMA Northern Ireland council considers any and all matters of specific relevance to the medical profession and healthcare in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland council shall determine policy and action where the application is exclusive to Northern Ireland.


Voting members

NI council shall normally have 24 directly elected voting members. This shall include 21 directly elected from the following groups of members of the BMA in Northern Ireland. This is to ensure representation, as far as possible, from across the area of the four NI divisions and the branch of practice groupings.

  • Five members whose primary branch of practice is general practice of whom: four shall be GPs; one from East; one North; one South; one West; one sessional/locum/salaried.
  • Five members whose primary branch of practice is consultant of whom:
    two from East; one North; one South; one West.
  • Two members whose primary branch of practice is staff, associate specialist and specialty doctor with no more than one from any NI divisional area.
  • Five members whose primary branch of practice is junior doctor including one for the highest polling GP trainee.
  • Two members whose primary branch of practice is medical student.
  • One member whose primary branch of practice is either public health medicine, academic, armed forces, occupational medicine or members in practice but not covered by the above.
  • One member who is a retired member.
  • In addition to the 21 seats outlined above, there shall be three seats for the highest polling candidates who have not already been elected.

Eight ex-officio Northern Ireland members comprising the chair of the NI consultants committee, the NI general practitioners committee, the NI staff, associate specialists and specialty doctors committee, the NI junior doctors committee, the NI medical students committee, the NI medical academic staff committee, the NI public health medicine and community health committee as and when reconstituted and the regional local negotiating committee.

Ex-officio members of council shall hold office until the election of their successors. Deputy chairs of branch of practice committees may attend NI council in the absence of their chair, with the same voting rights.

Non-voting members

Designated ex-officio UK members comprising the president of the BMA, chair of UK council, chair of the representative body, the treasurer, members of UK council whose registered address is in Northern Ireland.

How to join the Northern Ireland council

There are many advantages to becoming involved in our committees. You can actively influence BMA policy-making and negotiations, represent your colleagues' voices and develop your leadership skills. 

Each committee has a few routes to becoming an elected member. In the case of Northern Ireland council, these are: 

Direct elections
  • Seats/term - every three years, elections for 24 seats on Northern Ireland council take place for a three-session term.
  • Timeline - elections are usually held prior the start of the session.
  • Eligibility - all BMA members who work and live in Northern Ireland are eligible to stand and vote in this election.

The election section below is kept up to date with details about any running elections, so make sure you keep checking it throughout the year.  



Elections to the Northern Ireland council will open on 7 May 2024 and close on 28 May at 12 noon.


Get in touch

We’re happy to answer any queries, give advice or help on any matter related to Northern Ireland council.

Telephone: 028 9026 9666
Fax: 028 9026 9665
Email: [email protected]