17 Jan 2023

Health service in Northern Ireland under immense strain

Senior Political Correspondent

Across the UK, hospitals are under immense strain. But in Northern Ireland, the problems are on another scale.

Before Covid, more than one in sixteen of the population were on a hospital waiting list, and problems have gotten much worse since then.

Our own Factcheck team have been looking into the state of the health service in Northern Ireland.

In A&E, the number waiting more than four hours for treatment has gone up from an average of 11,000 a month in 2011 to nearly 30,000 last year; a nearly three-fold rise. And, just looking at breast cancer, the number of patients waiting more than two weeks to see a consultant went from an average of 10 per month to 570 over the same period; that’s 57 times more.

We were in the Craigavon Area Hospital in Portadown.