Sir Jeffrey launches DUP plan to 'Fix the NHS'

DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has today launched the party’s ‘Fix the NHS’ document outlining plans for health in the next Assembly mandate:

“The DUP is campaigning at this election on our 5 point plan for Northern Ireland. A key element is fixing our cherished NHS, and I want to see this plan implemented after the election. Whilst Sinn Féin’s only plan for Northern Ireland is a divisive border poll. We are focused on what matters.

Waiting lists and pressures on our local health services are continuing to grow, and the DUP is committed to tackling this head-on by prioritising investment and reforming the health system.

Our NHS was designed in a different era and we need a model today fit for the challenges of the 21st century. Radical reform is required and that's why the DUP established the expert panel under the chairmanship of Professor Rafael Bengoa to advise on a sustainable way forward. The Systems not Structures report represents the route to a better service in Northern Ireland.

The Democratic Unionist Party wants to fix our NHS and is committed to:

1.investing an extra £1 billion to cut waiting lists using a partnership with the independent sector-- We will explore partnering on a much larger scale with national or international independent/ non-profit providers who can work alongside us and deliver the additional skilled staff required in the short term as we enhance our own capacity.

2.deliver an additional 750,000 hospital

assessments and procedures- This will be on top of the regular day to day capacity of the NHS when fully staffed and resourced.

3.train more GPs per year- We want to increase the number of health professional training places in line with the HSC workforce strategy and Medical Student Places Review. We will incentivise GPs currently not working or working limited hours back into general practice, provide indemnity for primary care and roll out multidisciplinary primary care teams across Northern Ireland.

4.reward staff and end dependence on overpriced agency sector- incentivising the retention and return of key staff in areas such as intensive care, general practice and domiciliary care.

5.introduce a social care cap- legislate for a fair, sustainable model for social care

6.implement Bengoa reforms for a better health service- Frontline professionals see at first hand the need to do things differently, and they should be encouraged and empowered to lead the change. We will extend and expand the Transformation Fund originating from the DUP Confidence and Supply Agreement, allocating it a further one quarter of a billion pounds over the course of the next Assembly term.

While clearly significant challenges exist and strong political leadership is required, there are many positives about the Northern Ireland health and care system too. We are fortunate to have such a skilled and dedicated workforce. We will establish a Digital Health Technology Hub

to accelerate the development of medical technology devices and diagnostics, as well as a new Clinical Research Centre of Excellence bringing together the NHS, industry and academia."

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