Workers Party health spokesperson, Lily Kerr, has welcomed the announcement that the Health and Social Care Board is to be done way with as part of the most recent review of health and social care services but has criticised the lack of consultation with staff and unions.
“This decision is long overdue”, Lily said ” Although we are now going through yet another structural review of services in only a matter of years, this morning’s announcement that the Health and Social Care Board will no longer be a part of our health and social care structures is to be welcomed”.
“I would now welcome conformation from the Minister that this spells the end of the disastrous policy of ‘purchaser/provider’ split’, she said
Health inequalities persist
“Despite the fact that our health and social care services have been through several re-organisations over the past forty years and millions of pounds have been squandered on new structures – each one having a detrimental effect – report after report indicates that health inequalities have not improved. Monitoring reports make it clear that “…the absence of a whole systems approach in Northern Ireland has resulted in Health Inequalities persisting at the same level or worse for the previous ten years‟, said Lily.
Open and transparent debate
The Workers Party believes that what is needed is an open, transparent, and courageous debate on the type of health and social care services that are required to deliver quality health outcomes, and deal with decades of inequalities. That debate must challenge vested interests, inside and outside health and social services and be prepared to think big”.
Number one priority
“Health can be fixed, but it requires the political will to do so. The Northern Ireland Assembly and the Executive have to reinstate Health as the number one priority within the programme for government”, Lily concluded.