COVID Centres are now ‘unsustainable’, says Jim Allister.
The TUV leader who is also a North Antrim MLA, said: “Happily, with COVID-19 in retreat, maintaining 11 COVID Centres across Northern Ireland is untenable.
“As the response to the attached Assembly Question shows their use has been modest – only 6,473 visits over an 8 week period, but at a cost of £1,538,400 – an average of almost £240 per patient. And this before the recent acceleration in the decline of the virus.
“But the real cost is in the knock-on reduction in regular GP services. The rota to service these centres is undermining GP services.
“I’ve had GPs recount doing a 4-hour shift in a COVID Centre and seeing but 1 or 2 patients. That is 4 hours away from their surgeries and attending to general medical needs.
“I am, therefore, calling on the Health Minister to urgently review these centres, many of which have only ever had a trickle of patients and how many of those even had COVID symptoms is undisclosed – something I’m now following up with further questions.”
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