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Who's to blame for our health service failings?

IN my short time as SDLP health spokesperson, a number of major issues have arisen, each of which causes concern, but together raise major question-marks about how our health service is run.

Edwin Poots was left red-faced a few months back when some trusts raced to close statutory care homes, casting aside the most vulnerable in our society.

He managed to halt the approach, but the reality is that, without some public focus, the trusts could have got away with it.

Only last month I quizzed health officials over lengthy waiting-list issues, in particular those caused by consultants.

The administrators didn't have the answers. This, too, demonstrates a lack of accountability.

To my astonishment, it seems, in the child sexual exploitation inquiry, health authorities are going to have a cosy conversation, rather than a robust inquiry.

Recently, we heard how an individual trust was considering its capacity to deliver accident and emergency facilities; possibly resulting in services being shut.

Mr Poots may intervene afterwards, but that's not good enough.

FEARGHAL McKINNEY (SDLP)

MLA for South Belfast

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