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Surgical Leaders Convene in Belfast to Discuss Northern Ireland’s Healthcare Recovery

30 Aug 2022

A group of leading surgical experts and Government representatives came together in Belfast to discuss the future of Northern Ireland’s healthcare system.

A group of leading surgical experts and Government representatives have come together in Belfast to discuss the future of Northern Ireland’s healthcare system.

Health Minister Robin Swann and Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Michael McBride were joined by delegates from Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Surgeons of England, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, who all represent members in Northern Ireland, to discuss the range of challenges currently facing the surgical workforce. 

Healthcare workers from a wide variety of surgical roles, including trainees and surgical nurses, were invited to attend the full-day session where talks were delivered by 15 surgical professionals on a range of topics, including elective treatment centres and attracting the next generation of surgeons. 

The event also provided an opportunity for the Department of Health to present the findings of a number of reviews into surgical services they have facilitated over the last two years, as well as the significant transformational change they hope to deliver going forward.     

Robin Swann, Minister of Health said: “I am fully dedicated to ensuring we rebuild our services, to ensuring we deliver high quality, efficient surgical services for our population, and that we support and enable our workforce to provide the best care for the people of Northern Ireland.”

“By bringing together experts who work in our healthcare services here in Northern Ireland with those who work in and across other healthcare systems we can learn from each other and we can ensure rebuilding of our surgical services is informed and underpinned by the highest quality of evidence and experience.”  

Mike McKirdy, President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, said:

“Northern Ireland has some of the steepest challenges of any country in the UK when it comes to surgical care. This meeting was an excellent opportunity to engage with politicians and clinicians from across the UK to share best practice and identify steps to alleviate some of the chronic issues we’re seeing, particularly around the backlog of care.

We are committed as ever to play our part alongside our sister Colleges in ensuring our clinicians are supported through these extraordinarily difficult times and that solutions can be found to put surgical services in Northern Ireland on the footing required to deliver for patients.”

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