Author Archives: Andrew

Secretary of State cannot continue to ignore the crisis in the health service – Beggs

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has said the Secretary of State cannot continue to ignore the worsening crisis in the local health service. He was commenting after the latest publication of cancer waiting times which once again revealed the scale of delays facing local patients. Roy Beggs said: “Cancer is a disease that thrives in a vacuum. The sooner it is detected and treatment can begin, the better the chance a patient has of a successful outcome. Tragically with the current delays some local cancer patients may be coming to harm as a result of the unprecedented pressures in the health service. “The publication of these latest waiting times – which in any normal democracy or society would be more than enough to shame political parties into action – further demonstrates the urgent need for an Executive and Health Minister. Yet I suspect ideology and stubbornness from some … Continue reading

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Beggs reveals scale of outstanding health decisions awaiting Ministerial sign-off

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has revealed that there are currently 19 health strategies and pieces of legislation that have been delayed due to a lack of a functioning Assembly and Executive. Roy Beggs said: “It is scandalous that within the Department of Health alone there are so many pieces of legislation and key strategies stalled due to there not being a Minister in place to sign them off. “The list of issues, which were only revealed after the Ulster Unionist Party sought them directly from the Department using Freedom of Information legislation, is extensive and includes key decisions such as the publication of Northern Ireland’s next suicide prevention strategy; something which had been expected for publication in 2017. “Even the 2018/19 pay award for our doctors and nurses remains up in the air, despite being already finalised in England, Scotland and Wales. We are now half way through the financial … Continue reading

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Beggs condemns barbaric attack in Larne

East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman Roy Beggs has condemned the brutal attack that occurred late last night (Sunday) in the Woodvale area of Larne. Roy Beggs MLA said “I strongly condemn this barbaric and brutal attack which I understand has left the victim with life changing injuries. In a democratic society, we should rely on the police and the justice system, and with this in mind I would urge the community to contact the PSNI on 101, quoting reference 1577 16/09/18 if they can help with investigations. You can also pass on information through the anonymous Crimestoppers contact number 0800 783 0137.” Ends

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Beggs welcomes changes to cancer drugs funding

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has welcomed the announcement that cancer patients here are to have the same access to drugs currently being offered to people in the rest of the UK. Roy Beggs said: “It was simply immoral that people living here have not been able to avail of many of the life extending cancer drugs that were available and widely prescribed in the rest of the UK. “It was a post code lottery and unfortunately Northern Ireland was on the losing side for far too long. “Whilst sadly the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is increasing year on year, so too are the advancements in drugs that can help cure or at least extend patients’ lives. “It is disappointing that the announcement has taken so long, especially as the consultation ended over three years ago, but for patients moving forward at long last some degree of … Continue reading

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Beggs calls for implementation of latest bowel cancer screening programme

Ulster Unionist Party Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has contacted the Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly highlighting that Northern Ireland has fallen behind the rest of the United Kingdom by  failing, as of yet, to introduce the latest bowel cancer screening technique, Faecal Immunochemical Testing. East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs said “I am concerned that Northern Ireland has not yet implemented the latest approved bowel cancer screening technique, Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT).  Scotland introduced FIT for 50-74 from November 2017; England is due to roll out the test by the end of this year and Wales from January 2019.  ” Both Wales and England have recently committed to begin screening from 50 in line with international best practise. Roy Beggs MLA continued, “More than 1,100 people are diagnosed with Bowel Cancer every year, and it is Northern Ireland’s second biggest cancer killer.   I am concerned that Bowel Cancer … Continue reading

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