Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has given a cautious welcome to the Department of Health’s review of neurology services, but added some political leaders are failing to lead on health issues.
The Department announced the review as part of its Delivering Together programme of service reviews announced in 2016. It will begin in September and report by early 2019. The South Belfast MLA said she was pleased to see neurology given the priority it deserves.
“The review is an opportunity to address wide-ranging issues across diagnostic testing, staff workload, workforce planning, communication with patients and families, and issues around governance and accountability including those emerging from the ongoing Inquiry.
“The timescale is challenging if patient voices are to be fully heard through the review, but necessarily so. I have written to the Permanent Secretary seeking assurances the timetable will be appropriately managed.
“We also cannot escape the reality political leaders are failing abjectly to help on this issue and countless others. For thousands of people across Northern Ireland – those on waiting lists for diagnosis or treatment, those unsure if past diagnoses are correct, and those in the service awaiting reform so they can do their job free from the incredible pressure they are under – this is the number one priority of government at the moment.
“This only leads to further anger and mystification when they hear leaders rehashing tired old arguments about issues well away from the problems in health and education which affect our daily lives. Too many politicians continue to believe they can get away with playing games while real people in real life are suffering.”