Robin Swan makes a direct appeal to parties to sort the budget to help solve the health crisis


Health Minister Robin Swan

Health Secretary Robin Swan directly appealed to colleagues of the Stormont Secretary to find a way forward on the budget deal to help resolve the health crisis.

Svan said the failure of political parties in the three-year budget had “severely deprived” patients and healthcare professionals of the best opportunities in a decade of service reform.

Ongoing tensions in hospitals this week prompted the Northern Trust to declare a “potentially serious accident” due to the heavy strain on the hospital’s emergency room.

At one time, it was necessary to put 62 people to bed, who were not in the wards.

Tuesday’s statement was one step away from a serious and complete accident that resulted in other patients being taken to the hospital and effectively closing its doors.

The DUP’s decision to remove Prime Minister Paul Givenchy from the executive in protest of Northern Ireland’s exit from the European Union automatically removed Michelle O’Neill from her position as First Deputy Secretary of State for Home Affairs and deprived the administration of sharing the power of his ability to make important decisions.

Stormont is currently unable to formulate a three-year budget proposal for 2022-25, which is a spending plan that provides a 10% increase in cash for the Department of Health.

Speaking to the media in Stormont, Swann said, “I am praying today.

I ask all parties and my fellow ministers to work together and settle the budget.

“By restoring the executive power perfectly, or by not finding another way.

Our expectations are staggering, but in the absence of funding and the current executive, it will get worse rather than better.

This is a disgusting reality of the situation we are currently facing.”

The minister added: “Those who give us quick and easy answers are harming patients, harming staff and harming society.

There is no solution that does not involve large and long-term investments.

“The transition from one year to the next in the past seven to eight years has been another reason why our health services are unable to meet demand.

The real damage caused by the loss of additional funding, which was foreseen in the draft budget, was not sufficiently highlighted.

“I still hope some budget reassurance will be lifted from that ashes, but in the unlikely event that patients and staff have been severely denied the best opportunities they have had in the past decade.

“Opportunities cannot be rebuilt without financing, training and hiring the required number of employees.”

The minister said that the events of the past week provided more evidence of the “deep crisis facing our health and social system”.

He added: “This crisis has been going on for decades and more. Years of underinvestment, years of inability to properly plan the workforce and develop the right skills.

“Years of very productive management, years spent in terms of reforms, strategic leadership and targeted investments.

“Covid, of course, helped start this crisis, and an already severely affected system is still transforming from a pandemic.

“The main problem we see now is one of the opportunities.

“More people who are weak and sick, than the system can currently handle.

We need to strengthen these capabilities, but this is not something that can be done overnight.

“We can’t change contract errors in a few months.”

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Source: Belfastlive


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