Jonathan Buckley said,
“The partial u-turn by Health Minister Robin Swann on vaccine passports is just a first step. The entire policy was ill-considered and ill-thought-out. The pro-passport Ministers should recognise their error in judgement and revisit the entire decision. This divisive issue was a distraction rather than a solution.
For this climbdown to be announced after five o’clock on a Friday evening shows massive disrespect to a hospitality sector who have spent the most of a week preparing.
Passports largely failed in Scotland and in the Republic of Ireland yet the SDLP, Alliance, SF and UUP steamrollered this policy through on the false basis that it would reduce ambulance queues outside our hospital EDs. There was no evidence to back up such claims.
The DUP has rightly focused on the need for reform in our domiciliary care which would massively ease pressures on our hospitals by freeing up hundreds of beds every day. People who are medically fit to be discharged should be able to go home rather than have to sit for months in a step-down facility waiting on a care package.”