As reports of hospitals breaching capacity, healthcare works being begged to come back to work, and appointment cancellations continue to emerge, PBP MLA Gerry Carroll said the Executive must take control off private healthcare facilities to alleviate pressure:
“The public health crisis is deepening as the spread of COVID-19 continues to grip the North. Our healthcare staff are struggling on the frontline and the Executive must take every step necessary to get this situation under control. We are calling for the utilisation of of private hospitals by the health service to free up vital resources and staff for the NHS.
“It is an abject failure that staff and hospitals are under so much pressure, that appointments are being cancelled and vaccines postponed. This virus was allowed to surge again by Executive incompetence before Christmas and now the vulnerable and those on the frontline are paying the price.
“Hospitals were nationalised in Spain last March and private hospital facilities were used by the public system in the south to provide essential services. We cannot allow for the profit making of private hospital owners to be put before the needs of our communities during this pandemic.
“The Executive should immediately begin taking the steps to take control of private facilities which can treat both COVID and non-COVID patients to prevent the health service from becoming more overwhelmed.”