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DUP Health spokesperson Pam Cameron, who is also the Vice Chair of the Health Committee has called for the Health Minister to make a statement in the Northern Ireland Assembly on Monday outlining what steps the Department took to prepare for winter pressures.

Mrs Cameron said,

“I am deeply concerned by this latest comment from the Health Minister. It is morally wrong to tell someone seriously ill with cancer that they will have to wait because someone with covid-19 is being given priority.

The Minister must make an urgent statement to the Assembly on Monday to outline what actions his Department has taken since the end of the first wave to prepare the Health Service to deal with annual winter pressures as well as covid-19 patients.

The DUP has been raising this matter with the Department since early summer. We warned of a future wave and the need for planning. It seems such planning was not put in place.

The Minister must set out exactly what steps have been taken. We have asked the Minister to outline what additional resources are needed and we have also urged him to make use of Mutual Aid from the rest of the UK but so far nothing has been presented.

The cancellation or postponement of treatments for life-limiting conditions such as heart disease or cancer to give preference so that covid-19 patients can be treated is unjust, unequal, unacceptable and unsustainable.”