NHS Waiting Times

Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at on 8 February 2023.

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Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

What recent assessment he has made with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) the Northern Ireland Department of Health of the adequacy of resources for tackling NHS waiting times in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

The situation is very serious in the NHS in Northern Ireland. Having a fully functioning devolved Government is the right way to deliver the necessary reforms to transform healthcare and cut waiting lists. That is why the Government are doing all we can to restore the Executive as soon as possible. In the meantime, the Secretary of State has introduced appropriate measures to protect the delivery of all public services, and my officials continue to engage regularly with the Northern Ireland civil service.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

Last week, a poll in the Belfast Telegraph found that people in Northern Ireland think that the Tory Government are most to blame for the problems that the health service is facing. Does the Secretary of State accept that? Will he meet the unions to discuss their concerns?

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

Of course we share their concerns, but the reality is that health is devolved in Northern Ireland, as I am sure the hon. Lady knows. It is also the reality that health in Northern Ireland has not had the systemic transformation that it needs, despite our making appropriate funds available. What is needed is for the Executive to go back, to serve everyone in Northern Ireland by dealing with the systemic transformation that is needed in the health service, and indeed in education, to make things work for everyone.