05 January 2018
Commenting on the current pressures within the health service, North Belfast DUP MLA Paula Bradley said,
“A blame game is irrelevant if you’re lying on a trolly in a hospital corridor. There will always be winter pressures but only because reforms are not being implemented to modernise the health service.
Providing excellent care for sick people requires reform of how services are delivered. Bengoa was a road map to developing a more modern, caring and efficient service. Those key reforms are now sitting on the shelf gathering dust. 2017 was entirely lost as an opportunity to advance vital reforms.
Michelle O’Neill cannot walk away from this failure and wasted opportunity. As the Minister when Bengoa was finalised, Ms O’Neill was fully briefed of the need, yet she prioritised an Irish Language Act over those reforms. Was she just running away from taking tough decisions?
Legislation for languages or cultural matters could have been advanced the same way any bill would be on the floor of the Assembly. Yet, Sinn Fein has stalled the Assembly because they want legislation agreed first and then debated on the Assembly floor. Regardless of how legislation is dealt with, it is madness to allow a disagreement about Irish Language legislation to hamper key reforms in our hospitals.
Michelle O’Neill must accept that her party’s actions have hampered Bengoa being implemented. No one else is blocking Government other than Sinn Fein.”