Derry Aontú Cllr Emmet Doyle has slammed the Executive parties for overseeing a deliberate underinvestment in the Health Service across the North by cutting beds in hospitals and ignoring the need for ICU beds which has proven disastrous in our managing of the pandemic.
Cllr Doyle said: “Despite spin from all the parties in the Executive, the last ten years has seen anything but progress in our hospitals. Since 2010 to before the pandemic we lost 887 beds across hospitals in the Health Service. Altnagelvin lost 31 beds alone, whilst Belfast City and Mater hospitals lost 145 and 76 respectively. There is no getting away from these figures, no distraction that they can pull off to hide.
This is a further demonstration of determined running down of our Health Service across the North. To add insult to injury, from 2015 up until October of last year, there was an increase of only two ICU beds across the entire region - including during the first peak of the pandemic.
The wilful neglect demonstrated by all Ministers and especially Health Ministers in recent years beggars belief. Stormont yet again engages in bluff whilst services are cut and they ignore the impact on our people. Aontú is committed to a fully funded Public Health Service that doesn’t run our nurses and doctors into the ground with stress and then glibly stands by and offers applause, we want to see action that will guarantee a long term future that respects staff and enables a robust service that can adapt to society’s needs.”