Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has said newly released figures on health waiting times are deeply concerning.
The party’s health spokesperson said:
“Many health services have been repurposed to meet the threat of a COVID-19 surge and this has seen much needed appointments and services cancelled.
“This clearly has had an impact on waiting times.
“The figures only takes account of the waiting lists until the end of March which means we have yet to see the full impact of the crisis on waiting lists.
“The challenge now is ensuring that services are restarted while maintaining a capacity to fight COVID-19.
“One of the main underlying issues concerning waiting times is the lack of capacity within the health and social care to deliver services.
“We need to see significant and sustained investment in the HSC workforce.
“The Minister of Health needs to demonstrate the he is committed to a transformation model which is fully funded and co-designed in partnership with those who deliver and those who use services.”