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Northern Ireland: healthcare can no longer wait for assembly to fix crisis, say health experts

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o1177 (Published 11 May 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1177
  1. Chris Baraniuk
  1. Belfast

Health experts in Northern Ireland have expressed frustration and dismay over the fact that the region remains without an executive, despite new members of the legislative assembly having been elected last week.

“We cannot keep going like we are,” Alan Stout, deputy chair of the BMA’s Northern Ireland council, told The BMJ.

On 5 May, people in Northern Ireland elected 90 members of the legislative assembly. For the first time, Sinn Fein won the most seats overall (27) while the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) came in second with 25 seats. The Alliance Party more than doubled its seat share to take 17 while the Ulster Unionist Party achieved nine seats and the Social Democratic and Labour Party took eight. Four seats went to others.

At Stormont, the seat of devolved government in Northern Ireland, the two largest unionist and nationalist parties must agree to share power under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. The DUP is currently refusing to do so, however, in protest over the Northern …

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