The chair of the Stormont health committee has said “heads will roll” if there is a failure to disclose all major problems in the NHS.
Michael McGimpsey has vowed to inform Jim Wells of any serious matters relating to patient safety or care which are under investigation by the end of this week.
Health bosses have come under fire in recent weeks over an apparent lack of transparency, including a damning report of A&E at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, reporting of swine flu deaths and a backlog of 18,500 X-rays in the Western Trust.
At the Stormont health committee meeting yesterday, Mr Wells asked the minister: “Are there any other issues out there that the Assembly and the health committee need to know about?”
Mr McGimpsey said: “I am going to ask exactly that question and will furnish you with those details by the end of the week.”
Speaking afterwards, Mr Wells said: “Unfortunately, I do think we are going to hear about other issues but I do believe that the health service cannot survive another crisis like this.
“If something else comes out that we didn’t know about, then heads will roll.”
Deputy chair Michelle O’Neill said Mr McGimpsey must address the low level of public confidence in the health system.
“While I welcome the fact that there will be an urgent review, it comes after the minister having knowledge of this matter for over 13 months,” she said.
“In recent months we have had the C-diff scandal, the debacle around A&E in Antrim, the McDermott brothers in Donagh, the failure to tackle swine flu properly, a critical report into safety at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, the X-ray issue in Altnagelvin and now the recall of over 100 patients at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
“People are rightly asking questions of the minister and his leadership of this department.”