McGraths Says Child Health Waiting Lists Unacceptible

McGrath says children waiting too long for health care

SDLP Opposition Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath has said that many children are being failed by the long wait for healthcare.

He was speaking after the publishing of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) report ‘Worried and waiting: A review of paediatric waiting times in Northern Ireland’.

South Down MLA Mr McGrath said: “The waiting times that this report has highlighted are an embarrassment.

Colin McGrath MLA is concerned about the long waiting lists for child healthcare.

“The failure of our politics to function the way it should and the lack of a transformation plan has left children facing longer waits for care, with a significant negative impact on the lives of many children and their families.

“This report lays bare the real need that there is in our community for health services that cater to our young people, and how these services have been on a downward trajectory over the last eight years in particular.

“Giving our children and young people the best possible start in life is critical if we are to ensure they reach their full potential. 

“However, there are many barriers out there and children are being let down in a number of areas… poverty, deprivation, access to services and indeed timely access to them to mention just a few.

“This report offers solutions that have the potential to make a real difference to the lives of children across the North.

“However, we need the Minister to hear those solutions so he can bring them to the Executive and most importantly, implement the changes necessary.

“It was regrettable that the Minister did not attend the RCPCH event at Stormont on Monday to hear the voices of the young people who contributed to this report.

“We’re two months on from the restoration of the institutions. I would sincerely hope the Minister and his Executive colleagues are ready to begin bringing forward some legislative solutions to the myriad of problems impacting our health service, patients and staff.

“It is unacceptable that young people in particular should have to worry about waiting lists, yet disgracefully, that is the position we are now in as the crisis within our health service deepens.”