Speaking after all five health trusts cancelled some non-elective surgeries, the chair of the Assembly’s health committee;
“What we are currently seeing in emergency departments in hospitals across the North is only the shop window of the problems in the system.
“Everyone is aware that at certain times the system experiences increased pressure and plans need to be put in place to deal with that.
“Investment in community and primary care is key to addressing the problems in emergency departments.
“Properly resourced alternatives to accident and emergency departments must be put in place to ease the pressures and ensure all patients get the care they deserve.
“This is not just our view; the College of Emergency Medicine have also called for this.
“Health minister Jim Wells needs to intervene as a matter of urgency to address the problems in the system so that we do not see a repeat of what is happening at present.”