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Future of GP services more important than unionist election battle - McLaughlin

16 September, 2015 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA and chair of the Assembly's health committee Maeve McLaughlin said today that the future of GP services are more important than the electoral battle between unionists. 

Speaking after a report found that 400 additional GPs are needed in the next five years, Ms McLaughlin said; 

"The pressures on our health system are well documented and are particularly acute in the GP surgeries. 

"If we are serious about the shift left in the health service as envisaged by the Transforming Your Care policy then more services need to be moved to GPs surgeries. 

"We can't do that without recruiting more GPs. GPs currently in the system also need to be retained and encouraged to offer more services in their surgeries. 

"GPs are the first point of contact for many patients and it is not acceptable that instead of focusing on getting that right, the former health minister has abandoned his responsibilities. 

"We need to see a health minister who is at their desk, prepared to work to improve the health service rather than focus on party political concerns. 

"The future of our health service is more important than the calamitous electoral battle between the unionist parties."

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