Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has said the crisis developing across health and social care services is deeply concerning.
The party’s local health spokesperson said said:
“Over the weekend Trusts were asking patients with non-life threatening illnesses to stay away from emergency departments.
“While the call is understandable due to the pressures Emergency Departments are facing, it’s not clear where patients who need medical attention for serious conditions that are not life threatening can be treated.
“GP services are still under extreme pressures and there is no out of hours cover in places like Belfast.
“I am very worried that there may be patients suffering in the isolation of their own homes with medical conditions which need attended to.
“We are in the midst of an ongoing chronic staff shortage and workers are almost off their feet in conditions which are unsustainable.
“The Minister for Health must do something urgently to alleviate the workforce shortage and investigate all avenues, including prioritising and expanding the workforce appeal, to get health and social care workers in place to alleviate this crisis.”