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Lisa Smyth

Swann takes first steps to ensuring a healthy future for our ailing NHS

Lisa Smyth


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Health Minister Robin Swann, Charlie Martyn, medical director South Eastern Trust and Dr Cathy Jack, Belfast Trust chief executive, after the daily media broadcast at Stormont yesterday

Health Minister Robin Swann, Charlie Martyn, medical director South Eastern Trust and Dr Cathy Jack, Belfast Trust chief executive, after the daily media broadcast at Stormont yesterday

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Medics during an operation

Medics during an operation

Health Minister Robin Swann, Charlie Martyn, medical director South Eastern Trust and Dr Cathy Jack, Belfast Trust chief executive, after the daily media broadcast at Stormont yesterday

When Robin Swann took the job of Health Minister in January, it was difficult to imagine he could face a greater challenge than addressing Northern Ireland's hospital waiting list shame.

In fact, with no end of seemingly insurmountable problems, the health portfolio has long been regarded as a poisoned chalice, so it seemed almost foolhardy when the UUP handed the job to someone with a background in agriculture.

However, Mr Swann hit the ground running and his first success was to quickly reach a deal with employees over pay and conditions, bringing an end to crippling strike action by thousands of NHS staff.