Thursday, December 1, 2022

Latest Posts

Stormont’s healthcare budget isn’t enough to meet challenges – BMA

Concerns have been raised about the health care allocation in the Stormont budget set by the Secretary of State.

Chris Heaton-Harris announced departmental allocations as the region remains devoid of devolved government.

It includes increased funding for healthcare, but Mr Heaton-Harris acknowledged he doesn’t know if that will be enough to provide pay rises for NHS workers.

Tom Black, chairman of the British Medical Association’s Northern Ireland Council, said while he welcomed any additional healthcare funding, the amount was “simply not enough” to address the healthcare pressure.

He added: “As we see in our hospitals, emergency rooms and GP surgeries, services are already at breaking point or have collapsed completely.

“Physicians and healthcare workers are delivering patient care under increasing and dangerous pressures.

“This is unacceptable and puts doctors in moral distress.”

Mr Black said the lack of details on doctors’ remuneration in Thursday’s statement was “concerning”.

He continued: “The Secretary of State must recognize that healthcare workers are key to delivering critical frontline services.

“Dissatisfaction, depression and burnout among doctors are higher than ever before.

“This is compounded by back-to-back low-wage awards combined with delays in receiving those awards.

“It’s also driving young healthcare doctors to other countries and our more experienced doctors to take early retirement when we need to recruit and retain them.

“The growing workload pressures and patient access issues we are now seeing across our healthcare system stem from historically inadequate funding and the inability of successive governments to recognize that the healthcare workforce is their most valuable asset.

“This budget statement does little to remedy the situation.”

Meanwhile, Ann McGregor, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expressed concern at “challenging times”.

She added: “The NI Chamber has been asking for a budget for Northern Ireland for some time.

“Today we see the cumulative impact of an unagreed budget coupled with the continued lack of strategic decisions on difficult issues by a functioning leader.

“Until we finally address the fiscal challenges of health, education and infrastructure, it just so happens that citizens will continue to suffer from subpar services and there will be fewer resources every year to focus on economic growth and the creation of… to focus on jobs .

“The times ahead will be challenging, but with a closer partnership between business and policymakers, we can innovate, increase efficiency and find sustainable solutions to our tax problems.

“The NI Chamber will do whatever it takes to find a way through the myriad difficulties.”

Latest Posts

Don't Miss