The Workers Party has called for the final scrapping of Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Board arguing that it has never provided value for money, has not improved services and at a cost of £27 million a year is draining already scant resources. It was due to be wound up last April.
The Party’s criticism follows the announcement by the Nuffield Research Trust that over a quarter of a million people here are on a hospital waiting list and fears that some may never live to see their first consultant appointment.
” A promise of £2 million to address this crisis is just throwing good money after bad”, the Party said
“There are serious and systemic problems with the management and resourcing of our health service from primary care right through to Department level. Unless these issues are addressed and unless we stop building up waiting lists to be cleared by the private sector with public money then this cycle will never be broken.”
“We have the potential and the staff to provide a world class health and care services but this is being thwarted by a lack of leadership, vision and resources.
The restructuring of services to make GPs health service employees rather than independent contractors would provide much-needed stability and greatly assist planning and development. Understanding, resourcing and developing home care services has the potential not only to provide greatly improved quality of care but also can relieve pressure on acute hospitals.
Finally, retaining all health and social care services in the public sector will, send the clearest possible signal that the NHS is safe and its funding secure”, the statement concluded