Robin Swann has launched a broadside in opposition to political rivals, warning that “petty level scoring” may derail efforts to reform the well being service.
The Well being Minister was responding to an Meeting debate on the way forward for Downe Space Hospital.
Mr Swann insisted there was no menace of closure hanging over the hospital, which has seen A&E providers stood down through the pandemic. He criticised native representatives for suggesting the hospital’s future was in danger.
He used his speech to make a wider level about plans for restructuring well being service provision in Northern Eire.
The minister stated the controversy on the difficulty typically monetary realities, with MLAs calling for funding in notably areas with out outlining the place the cash ought to come from.
“Politics and particularly political grandstanding should not develop into a menace to our well being service,” he stated.
“By that, I imply straightforward choice politics, brief termism, unhealthy politics, politics that’s solely in level scoring and touchdown a headline within the media.”
Mr Swann questioned why no different occasion had volunteered to tackle the well being portfolio when Stormont was restored in January 2020.
He added: “Barely a day goes by with out an MLA calling on me to considerably improve spending in a key space.
Mr Swann stated most of the causes championed had been very worthy.
“However hardly ever if ever do I hear options as to the place I’d get this additional funding from,” he stated.
“The impression is on condition that funding is limitless and that I simply have to be persuaded to spend extra of it on a specific space.
“After all, the precise actuality is that funding may be very restricted. Certainly, at current, it’s an rising wrestle simply to take care of our current providers.
“I’m additionally nervous about petty, level scoring politics on the subject of the very important activity of reforming and reworking our struggling well being service.”
Mr Swann cautioned about having political conversations that take care of particular person hospitals in isolation.
“It’s straightforward sufficient for events throughout this home to endorse the final rules that change is required,” he stated.
“It’s a totally different matter when particular modifications are proposed at native degree. That’s when the temptation proves too sturdy for some to seize some headlines, to proclaim grand conspiracy theories in regards to the future for particular person hospital websites.
“Let me be clear. There isn’t a plan, hidden or in any other case, to shut, downgrade or run down any hospital in Northern Eire.
“That doesn’t imply that each single hospital will stay frozen in time. It doesn’t imply that each one providers will likely be delivered in precisely the identical means till the tip of time.”