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Loss of Nursing Posts

Part of Private Members’ Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 5:15 pm on 20th April 2009.

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Photo of Iris Robinson Iris Robinson DUP 5:15 pm, 20th April 2009

I will repeat the last part, because it is important. Mr McGimpsey, it seems, is more interested in chasing headlines and in building up his own media profile than in tackling the serious issues in our Health Service. Instead of describing an issue as a top priority every time the media ask questions, Mr McGimpsey would do better to spend his time devising serious policies that are designed to improve all healthcare fields in Northern Ireland.

It is an off-the-cuff suggestion, but if the Minister would like to sit with me in an accident and emergency facility, in any hospital in Northern Ireland, on any given day or evening, I would be happy to sit with him and let him observe exactly what sort of crisis our Health Service is in. A reduction in the number of nurses and professionals on the floor of those A&E units does not bear thinking about — A&E units can barely manage as it is.

I throw down that challenge to the Minister: any day or night, at any time, I will sit with him in the accident and emergency unit of his choice, in order to let him see what pressures our Health Service front line staff are under. I support the motion.