Speaking following news that volunteers are being drafted into hospitals to deal with the health crisis, Gerry Carroll condemned Theresa May's inaction and the DUP's supporting role. He had the following to say:
'News that volunteers are being drafted into hospitals to help treat people is a shocking indictment of the state of our health service. Theresa May’s recent apology for the NHS crisis falls far short of what is necessary. Her apology will do little for the people suffering for up to 48 hours waiting for emergency treatment. It will do little to negate the fear, frustration and pain of those who have had operations postponed. It will provide little relief for people facing life or death situations on trolleys in hospital corridors. What we need is not an apology - we need emergency action to inject funding, employ the necessary healthcare staff and relieve the pressure on A&E’s.'
'What we also need are long term solutions, because this crisis was not an accident. The current crisis is the result of years of chronic underfunding, cuts and privatisation. Doctors with decades of service have never seen a crisis so bad and they are pointing the finger of blame squarely at the Tories. Their neoliberal agenda has purposefully underfunded the health service to the point that it can no longer provide for patients. Their pro-privatisation, pro-corporation approach is destroying our health service.'
'The Tories are to blame and the DUP are shamefully supporting them. We call on the DUP to break with their Tory bedfellows and stop enabling them to further damage our health service. If real change is to come, the Tory/DUP coalition of chaos needs to be broken.'
'But it should also be remembered that there has been powerful opposition to Tories cuts. Over the past two years alone, people of the North have campaigned and saved Daisy Hill A&E, four mental health centres, three residential homes. Protest and people power also significantly beat back threatened cuts of up to £70 million. Now more than ever we need a joined up campaign against health cuts. We need to see trades unions organising resistance on the streets and channelling anger into action.'
'We need to see a movement to halt the destructive process of cutbacks and closures. To solve the perpetual crisis of the NHS, we need fully funded, staffed and resourced services. Nothing short of this will do. Nothing short of this should be accepted.'