We need to build trust in our health service: MLA

MLA Claire Sugden
MLA Claire Sugden

An East Londonderry MLA says the Health Minister must ‘start listening to people on the ground’.

Independent MLA Claire Sugden was speaking last week as figures revealed that waiting times for patients at the Causeway Hospital had increased.

Decribing the figures as ‘concerning’, Sugden said: “This is unacceptable, and not the service we pay into to receive.

“The previous Health Minister promised that hospital waiting lists would be a priority issue, and there was evidence that they had improved. This appears to have been short-lived, with waiting times again on the increase.

“Within the Causeway hospital, the percentage of outpatients being seen within a four hour wait has decreased from 78.9% in April 2014, to 67.3% in April 2015.

“In the same period of time, the number of outpatients attending has risen from 3,695 to 3,873.”

She went on: “Constituents have also contacted me with concerns about waiting for test results. Some are facing life-threatening illnesses and are having to wait for up to six months. To wait for one month is bad enough, but to ask them to wait for six is unacceptable.

“It is not good enough for the Minister to say that he is reviewing this issue.

“He must start listening to people on the ground in order to build their trust in the Health Service.”