SDLP: direct rule would be disaster for NHS
Northern Ireland's health service must not come back under Westminster control, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has said.
Mr Eastwood claimed the return of direct rule threatened to hand power over to a Government "who are determined to dismantle the NHS".
He was speaking after figures confirming that A&E waiting times had tripled.
Mr Eastwood said: "All of us realise that the deep problems in our health service are not easy to solve but it is our responsibility and it is our job to try.
"The political solution to this crisis won't be found in handing over control of our health service to a Tory/DUP coalition in Westminster - that will only make the problems worse."
Mr Eastwood repeated his call for all-party talks to restore the Assembly to resume immediately.