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 political parties will continue to be placed ahead of the needs of local patients. That’s just outrageous.
“The current situation cannot be allowed to continue. It’s clear the DUP and Sinn Fein have no current willingness to break the stalemate. The Secretary of State must intervene and as far as I see it she has three options – getting all the political parties around the table and giving them an ultimatum on the establishment of an Executive; moving now to appoint direct rule Ministers; or taking the necessary measures to return health powers back to Westminster to at least allow them to do something to protect local cancer sufferers.
“Continuing to do nothing is simply no longer an option for her.”