Category Archives: Health Committee

Mr Beggs is a Committee member of the Health Committee (DHSSPS).

Emergency Department waiting times wouldn’t be tolerated anywhere else in the UK

Emergency Department waiting times wouldn’t be tolerated anywhere else in the UK – Beggs Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has again highlighted that the local A&E waiting times would simply not be tolerated in any other part of the United Kingdom. Roy Beggs said: “Between April 2018 and March 2019, 88% of patients in England were treated or admitted within four hours, according to NHS England data. The figure for all the main emergency units across Northern Ireland for just the month of March 2019 was 62.3%. Whilst it’s marginally better than what it was in March 2018, any attempt by the local Department of Health to proclaim some sort of accomplishment would be totally misplaced. “Doctors in England have been warning that patients are ‘dying prematurely’ amid ‘intolerable’ hospital delays there. I am frightened to think what those same doctors would have to say about ours. “I … Continue reading

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Beggs welcomes announcement on cancer strategy

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has welcomed the announcement that the Department of Health is to commission a new cancer strategy for Northern Ireland but has warned that the ongoing absence of a Minister will inevitably result in further avoidable delays. Roy Beggs said: “It is shameful that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK not to have a cancer strategy. “Targets are set for cancer treatment because there is very sound medical evidence that the longer a patient has to wait for diagnosis or treatment, the greater the risk that they may ultimately come to harm. That’s what makes the fact that Northern Ireland is missing so many of its key cancer targets so serious and inexcusable. “It’s also a disease that is increasing rapidly – 1 in 2 people across Northern Ireland born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during … Continue reading

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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 welcomes Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment & Referral Service roll out for the Northern Trust

East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman Roy Beggs has welcomed assurances provided to him by the Health & Social Care Board that the regional roll out of the Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment & Referral Service (NIPEARS) to address one of the longest specialist waiting lists, is to extend to both the Northern and South Eastern Trusts by the end of the current financial year. Roy Beggs MLA said “I am aware of the excessively long waiting lists for eye treatment and the positive effects of specialist eye treatment provided locally by the new Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment & Referral Service (NIPEARS). NI PEARS also provides secondary care Ophthalmology services where necessary. 23,506 Ophthalmology patients in Northern Ireland as of the 31st March 2018 were awaiting their 1st consultant led outpatient appointment in Northern Ireland. 18,784 of which have waited over 9 weeks, with approximately 40% (9,537) of the … Continue reading

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