A call has been made to convene an urgent meeting of Stormont’s health committee, over the fact that the department has no full-time minister.
DUP ministers are currently engaging in a policy of rolling resignations in protest at the crisis in Stormont, with its ministers – including Health Minister Simon Hamilton – taking their seats and then leaving them again almost immediately.
SDLP health spokesman Fearghal McKinney said: “I’ve called for an emergency meeting of the health committee to deal with the critical situation unfolding in our health service as a result of a crisis in patient waiting times and the absentee minister.
“Without a minister to provide strategic direction to clinicians and staff, it’s imperative that the rest of us step up to the mark and stand up for patients.”
TUV vice-chairman Richard Cairns said that the current scenario is “ridiculous” and “would not be tolerated in Great Britain”.