Doctors raise concerns over proposed N Ireland health cuts and call for reforms implementation

Doctors raise concerns over proposed N Ireland health cuts and call for reforms implementation

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  • Doctors raise concerns over proposed N Ireland health cuts and call for reforms implementation

    Doctors raise concerns over proposed N Ireland health cuts and call for reforms implementation

    Friday, 25 August 2017 13:46
  • Review recommends further pilots around fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence cases

    Review recommends further pilots around fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence cases

    Saturday, 05 August 2017 14:44
  • Scotland sets out GMS Statement of Financial Entitlements for 2017-18

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    Thursday, 03 August 2017 10:15
  • RCGP asks members for views on indemnity costs

    RCGP asks members for views on indemnity costs

    Tuesday, 28 June 2016 13:27

a budget cuts image cbAugust 25 2017

Doctors in Northern Ireland have joined together to call for urgent action on health and social care reform.

 The Medical Royal Colleges have issued a joint statement calling for a strategic approach to healthcare transformation and warning that the delay in health transformation is having a “huge impact” on patients. The plea follows recent announcements around budget cuts.

“In the absence of strategic decision making and planned reform, reactive cuts will be made for the purpose of balancing the books rather than to ensure that the best possible services are being delivered to patients within our given resources,” says the statement.

“The medical Royal Colleges have a pivotal role in patient advocacy throughout the UK; as senior representatives of these Colleges, we are united in our call for urgent action to address the challenges facing the health service in Northern Ireland.”

Specific concerns highlighted by the Royal Colleges include:

  • sustained challenges in general practice
  • daily pressures in Emergency Departments
  • challenges in the management and provision of appropriate and dignified care for frail older people
  • some of the poorest child health outcomes in Western Europe
  • delays in patient flow in secondary care
  • some of the longest waiting times in the UK for a range of scheduled procedures and imaging tests
  • gaps in the physical health care of those with mental illness and intellectual disability
  • the workforce crises in medicine and resultant reliance on locum staff
  • nursing shortages.

“The current situation is unsustainable,” says the joint statement. “In order to improve services and deliver the necessary transformation which is in the best interest of patients, the health budget needs to be spent strategically. We urge politicians to reflect carefully on the current situation and to work together to save our health service.”

In a separate announcement, Dr John D Woods, chair of BMA Northern Ireland’s Council, said the health trusts’ proposals to cut hospital budgets will impact on GPs. “The potential impact on both patient care and our members care cannot be underestimated,” he said. "We have consistently said the issue of a lack of doctors across all trusts and specialities needs addressed.

He called on Northern Ireland’s Department of Health “to engage in proper, long term workforce planning as outlined in the Bengoa report and stop making piecemeal changes. We need significant and meaningful service transformation so that we have service and a workforce that is fit for the future.

“Furthermore, while these proposals are aimed at hospital care, if implemented there will be a subsequent impact on GPs who are already overwhelmed.”

Links:
RCGP announcement     
BMA announcement     

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