SDLP Health Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has welcomed the announcement that GP services in the North of Ireland will receive an investment of £8.8 million.
However, Mr Durkan has said that while any investment is welcome, it is a small amount compared to what is needed to both sustain and transform our health service.
The FoyHe NMLA continued:
“I welcome the announcement that GP services in Northern Ireland will receive an investment of £8.8 million.
“It is good to hear that more than half of the funding will be used for the practice-based pharmacist scheme, with an aim to having close to 200 pharmacists working at GP practices by the end of 2018.
“People are living longer and with more complex needs and it is often GP surgeries that feel the brunt of this.
“As with all staff in our health service, GPs are over-stretched and are struggling to meet the demand for appointments.
“Being able to recruit extra multi-disciplinary staff and having pharmacists working alongside GPs will not only lift some of the burden that is being placed on the shoulders of our GPs, but will help to reduce queues at hospitals.
“Of course, while any investment is welcome, this is a small amount compared to what is needed overall to not only sustain, but to transform our health service.
“To tackle the ever-growing issues in our health service, it is imperative that we see a health service wide transformation.
“The SDLP has long advocated for an overall transformation of the health service.
“Only with radical change can we deliver a health service that is fit for purpose and one that can properly tackle the ever growing issues and provide the health care and support that our people need and deserve,” he added.