In April, Health Minister Robin Swann admitted that it could take 10 years to address the waiting list crisis in Northern Ireland. With the suspension and curtailment of many services, the Covid-19 pandemic had a massive impact on waiting lists. Even before this, however, Northern Ireland’s health waiting lists were amongst the longest in Europe, and the longest of any NHS region.
Introducing water charges here has been on the wishlist of the political establishment for twenty years. The sole purpose of this is to pave the way for wholesale privatisation of our water service. Experience in Britain shows that this would see bills skyrocket.
An enormous expansion of health service facilities, resources and staff would be required to ensure a high quality of care and safety continues as we work and live with Covid-19.