Speaking after the Ambulance Service (NIAS) has said it is investigating whether a delayed response contributed to the deaths of eight people in recent weeks.
Sinn Féin health spokesperson Colm Gildernew MLA said:
“It is deeply concerning that the Ambulance Service is investigating whether a delayed response contributed to the deaths of eight people in recent weeks.
“Our ambulance service has been under severe pressure for months, with crews having to wait with patients – sometimes for hours – to get into hospitals, meaning others in urgent need of ambulances also having to wait.
“This is another example of the deteriorating situation in our health and social care system and it is deeply worrying. Sadly this is the reality of the huge pressures facing patients and staff on a daily basis.
“They are literally at crisis point. Our health workers need help now.
“After more than a decade of Tory cuts our health and social care service is crying out for substantial investment so workers can have a fair wage, to transform the system and bring to an end the cycle of services and health workers being overwhelmed.
“They want local ministers back around the Executive table, to invest an extra £1 billion in the health service, to hire more doctors and nurses and to get on with tackling chronic waiting lists and transformation of the health service.
“Sinn Féin is ready to form an Executive now and I would urge the DUP to end its boycott now, get back to work and make health a priority.
“I have written to the Ambulance Service requesting a meeting on this.”