McGrath: Surgeons ‘SOS’ warning deeply concerning

SDLP South Down MLA Colin McGrath.SDLP South Down MLA Colin McGrath.
SDLP South Down MLA Colin McGrath.
SDLP Opposition Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath has said he is disturbed to hear that surgeons have issued an “SOS” to address the surgical waiting lists in NI.

The information came to light during a briefing from the Royal College of Surgeons at the Health Committee on Thursday.

South Down MLA Mr McGrath said: "To hear our surgical leaders issue an SOS emergency call about the state of the surgical lists and waiting times and the need to address them was very worrying. This will no doubt be having a massive impact on patients and further underlines the deepening crisis in all areas of our health service.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“These are the professionals that are facing the waiting list crisis on a daily basis. They have told us that if every theatre was operational for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days it would take three years to clear the lists. That is a sobering thought and shows the scale of the challenge ahead of us to return our health service to a stable footing.

“Surgeons are clear that we need more elective care centres and access to theatres for staff. They have also issued a workforce warning with large numbers of the surgical cohort in the later stages of their careers and will retire in the coming decade. If we don’t recruit and retain the surgeons necessary then we will be unable to manage the scale of these waiting lists.

“We must see action from the Health Minister and department in relation to waiting lists and this cannot come soon enough. People are already waiting too long, it is causing unfair pressures on our primary care sectors and patients and their families are suffering because our health service is unable to carry out many of its basic functions.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.