Independent Unionist MLA Alex Easton demands improvements in the Health Service

Speaking today Alex Easton said:

“To try and improve the Health Service is one of the greatest challenges facing us in Northern Ireland, this is one of my main priorities. A Hugh number of highly trained and dedicated professionals are performing difficult jobs under ever more trying conditions. Our Health Service in the province comprises vast multi-sited resources that require enormous funding to operate. Strict control, effective management and carefully channeled and well-monitored funding are essential. There are innumerable competing demands for resources and services. At a local level patients currently struggle to obtain appointments, particularly with their GPs. Hospital staff seem constantly under pressure and consultants are rushed. Acute services are overwhelmed by the number of patients requiring assessment. Health Service users have the right to expect an effective and efficient system and many feel they become lost in the current system. It is vitally important that solutions and improvements are found and it with the following solutions that I believe would lead to a better Health Service for the staff and patients for the future”

  • I believe that it is not simply providing extra beds, but more staff that will lead to an improvement in Hospital services
  • A Health and Care Centre for Bangor
  • A new GP practice for Donaghadee
  • GPs returning to seeing patients as pre-Covid
  • Incentives should be considered for staff that might encourage staff to remain in Northern Ireland
  • We must see administrative bureaucracy decreased.
  • This is not just about saving money but also streamlining decision making to create a more efficient system
  • There must be target strategies with clear responsibility and accountability
  • Audit trails are important to ensure Health spending becomes more transparent
  • Ring fence funding to protect it from being redirected on account of emergency pressures
  • A Health minister in a Northern Ireland Assembly that is fully accountable to the Assembly
  • Rapid restructuring of acute service in the province
  • Occupancy levels for beds of no more than 80%
  • Patients to be provided with clear indications of when they will be called for appointments and treatment
  • Maximum benefits should be made of highly trained staff
  • Greater use should be made of advances in technology in areas like telemedicine and IT
  • Effortless transfer between Hospital and Community care
  • Individuals should be encouraged to adopt greater personal responsibility for healthy living
  • Employ at least 500 more nurses and midwives and 200 more consultants.
  • Continue increasing investment in cancer care by at least an additional 10% and introduce a new comprehensive cancer care plan for the next decade
  • More GPs
  • More investment and quicker response to Mental Health
  • An extra 1 billion pounds over the next five year period for the Health budget
“I firmly believe with these targets put in place we could improve the Health Service in Northern Ireland and provide a future that can cope with the pressures that the modern age brings and will campaign to ensure this happens for all in Northern Ireland and for all the political parties to stop infighting and deliver real change”