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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP South Down MLA, Colin McGrath has asked Health Minister Robin Swann to consider adjusting the health delivery model to manage non-Covid health cases.

The South Down MLA said: 

“It was proper and right that the hospital network in the North was cleared and reconfigured for the impending wave of Coronavirus cases that were predicted. The modelling predicted a significant wave of Covid-19 critical cases that demanded emergency hospital capacity.

“But with public support in maintaining social distancing, isolation and hand-washing, the modelling has been revised and while we are still under substantial threat, there may be capacity to deal with non-Covid cases that require swift action. 

“Many people have contacted representatives in recent weeks scared, frightened and confused at how they have been left at home with conditions such as cancer and other serious medical conditions. They are unable to access testing, diagnostic and other medical screening procedures. This could be ‘banking’ a serious health crisis of a different type in a few months time with many conditions and illnesses being diagnosed or presented too late for effective treatment.

“We need to know if there is any capacity in the health system now, given the lower than anticipated numbers of Covid cases and deaths, to review the approach to medicine in the North to allow more routine work. This is anything but routine to the patients with serious conditions who need access to medical care but especially diagnostic procedures that will ensure we continue to identify and treat ill health at a crucial early stage.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom