Independent Assembly Candidate, Claire Sugden has called on the government to do more to deliver for local health services.
Commenting, Miss Sugden said : “The Causeway Hospital is strategically placed to provide services across a large area. Long waiting times in A&E and for appointments have not been addressed and I am concerned that staff and consultant vacancies are going unfilled. The Government should be doing more to incentivise front line staff to work here yet less professionals are entering the workforce because of a negative working environment.
GPs are retiring and there are few to fill their places. This is leading to mounting pressure on primary care services. Social services also need support to increase the capacity for referrals and ensure that patients are getting the care they need. We urgently need Government investment.
I was happy to support Unison this week as they protested with Trust staff for fair pay. Staff deserve more than their incremental 1% pay increase. The government should be incentivising people to train as health professionals by improving conditions for staff. This has not happened.
The health service is inefficient and local areas are suffering because of this. Front line staff are overworked and underpaid. The Government’s response so far has been to apply short term solutions which don’t solve the problem and are costly. We need a long term strategy.
If elected in May I will continue to lobby the Government for this and to increase support for health professionals so that they can do their jobs.”