Following the announcement by the Royal College of General Practitioners that the GP phone first system is not working, East Londonderry candidate Maurice Bradley has said the system is having a ‘detrimental impact on the elderly and the most vulnerable in our society’.
the DUP politician says his ‘office gets complaints on an almost daily basis’ as patients find it difficult to get through to their GPs.
Mr Bradley continued: “I raised the phone first service and the difficulties patients are having getting through with the Health Minster many times during questions and in writing during the last term at Stormont.
“People are having to wait for hours in a queue to get through to some practices here in Coleraine. For many this is not possible unless they take a day off work, it really is not acceptable. The system cannot cope with the demand.
“This system is having a detrimental impact on the elderly and the most vulnerable in our society. People have told me that they have run out of money on their phones because they have been on hold for so long.
“I have no doubt that the fact people are having difficulty accessing their GP is having a major impact on our hospitals.
“The commitment by the Department of Health to train more GPs is good news but needs more. That’s why training more GPs is a key part of the DUP’s Five Point Plan for Northern Ireland.
“We want to see a better Northern Ireland and that includes a better health service. The plan includes a commitment to deliver an additional 750,000 hospital assessments and procedures, which will take the pressure off our already exhausted NHS workforce.
“We need to win the election to implement our plan though. If Sinn Fein win, they will focus on a divisive border poll rather than fixing our NHS.”