Doctors’ Voices Must Be Heard Says McGrath

McGrath says concerns of doctors must be addressed

McGrath says concerns of doctors must be addressed  

South Down MLA Colin McGrath and SDLP Health Spokesperson has said the concerns of doctors “must be addressed. They will have a catastrophic impact on the health service.”

Mr McGrath, was speaking after a British Medical Association (BMA) survey was released. It showed 85% of doctors felt a proposed pay increase was too low. And 93% of junior doctors agreed.

South Down MLA Colin McGrath.

Doctors also expressed concern about working conditions and the current state of the health service.

The BMA has warned that large numbers of junior doctors will consider leaving the North. Other doctors may retire earlier due to their concerns in a perfect health service storm.

South Down MLA Mr McGrath said: “The concerns raised in this BMA survey must be addressed before the situation deteriorates further. This will have a significant negative impact on our already broken health service and future plans for reform.

“Over the past few years our health staff have come under increasing demands for a myriad of factors. This includes the coronavirus pandemic and the worsening conditions many operate under. This current situation cannot continue.

“If we want to change our health service for the better then we need to ensure that our staff feel safe, valued and fairly paid.

“The results of this survey are a stark warning.

  • We already don’t have sufficient staff in place.
  • we struggle to recruit adequate numbers.
  • waiting lists are getting longer.
  • people are struggling to get a GP appointment.
  • and if doctors continue to leave these shores and take early retirement things will only get worse.

“We cannot keep heaping pressure on our existing health staff and expecting them to cope.

“We rely on doctors to look after the health of everyone in the North. They cannot do this to the best of their ability if stressed, burnt out or with morale plummeting.

“This survey shows the impact the lack of functioning institutions at Stormont is having on our health service. We need to begin tackling these issues immediately to ensure we don’t end up in a situation with doctors taking strike action.”