Ministerial panel on Health Reform must be expanded to include frontline staff representatives

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Kevin McAdam, Regional Official Unite

Expert Panel to oversee health reform needs to have an understanding of local issues

January 7th: Unite Regional Health lead, Kevin McAdam, expressed his concerns at the proposed team selected by DHSSPS Minister, Simon Hamilton, to form an ‘expert panel’ to oversee health reform:

“While Unite respects the competencies of the individuals chosen by the Minister we are disappointed that there is no trade union involvement. We believe that the task facing the team should have a local workforce input from someone working at the coalface!

“Unite and the other healthcare unions were led to believe that the membership of the expert panel would draw heavily upon local expertise. We now see it as a global group who, with the exception of Mairead McAlinden, may not necessarily have as a full focus a Northern Ireland perspective.

“Whilst an outside perspective is welcome and can have a role to play, an expert panel with such a strategically significant role needs to have at its core an understanding of the needs and socio-economic factors that still characterise Northern Ireland’s communities and shape our health needs and demands”, Mr McAdam concluded.

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