Northern Ireland’s healthcare system is broken

20 Nov

Northern Ireland’s hospital inpatient waiting times are atrocious. According to the latest data released by the Department of Health, 41.3% of inpatient waiting times exceeded 52 weeks in the second quarter of 2019. There are no regions in England or Wales where the equivalent figure even exceeded 1% (I could not locate equivalent data for Scotland). By comparison, only 0.06% of inpatients in the Midlands of England waited over 52 weeks for admission to hospital; the probability of waiting over … Read more

Getting creative with health…

10 Oct

Creativity is a fundamental part of human nature, and the use of the arts to improve health and wellbeing is not a new idea. Yet we still tend to think of the arts as the remit of the talented few with most of us giving up artistic pursuits as we leave school and get older. Unlike other behaviours that can be beneficial to our health, such as exercise, a varied diet and social support, we don’t think of creative engagement … Read more

The importance of doing what you can to improve your health…

24 Sep

The wife’s uncle in America has died. Years ago he was like a lot of the population. He was gaining weight, not an unusual situation in this modern world of cheap junk food and sedentary lifestyle. The doctor diagnosed him with type 2 diabetes and prescribed him lots of pills and potions, so far a familiar tale. But what he did next shocked us all – he turned vegan. He had conservative views on many social matters, so I didn’t … Read more

Northern Ireland’s fiscal deficit is shrinking, but not in a sustainable way

22 Sep

Given recent polling showing that support for Irish unity is at all-time highs in Northern Ireland, there has again been a significant amount of scrutiny on the Northern Ireland fiscal deficit (also known as the subvention or block grant), the gap between taxation and government spending in Northern Ireland that it is assumed would have to be absorbed by the Irish government in the event of Irish unification. The charts at the top of the post show Northern Ireland tax … Read more

Northern Ireland outpatient waiting lists are 100 times more than England’s…

20 Sep

FactCheckNI confirms Mark H Durkins comment on the health waiting lists: From the article: CLAIM: 105,486 people were waiting over a year for a consultant-led outpatient appointment in Northern Ireland, which is 100 times more than in England, with its population 30 times greater. CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. 105,486 and 1,089 people were waiting over a year for a consultant-led outpatient appointment in Northern Ireland and England, respectively. The estimated population of Northern Ireland and England is 55,977,178 and 1,881,600, respectively. The … Read more

The impact of Brexit on Health in Northern Ireland…

3 Sep

Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg was on Nick Ferrari’s LBC show on Monday 2 September; he was taking phone calls. Dr David Nicholl, a consultant neurologist, called to ask what mortality rates could be expected in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Dr Nicholl wrote the relevant mitigation part in the Operation Yellowhammer document. Rees-Mogg has been characterised in the past as having quite exquisite politeness, extreme almost to farce. He wasn’t at all polite to the caller, saying that this was … Read more