Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin has called for a fresh approach to be adopted towards the health portfolio by new DUP Minister Simon Hamilton.
Ms McLaughlin, who is chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Health Committee, was speaking after Mr Hamilton was confirmed as the successor to Jim Wells, who stood down last month.
Ms McLaughlin said: “Hopefully the announcement of a new Health Minister by the DUP will signal a new approach to the department.
“Simon Hamilton needs to abandon the approach of his predecessors, move into the 21st century and embrace equality.
“He needs to realise the days of outdated prejudices are over and base his policies on addressing need rather than religious beliefs.”
Ms McLaughlin said the new minister will have a lot in his in-tray and will “have to address the crisis in pay for frontline heath staff, refocus on primary care and work to instil confidence in Transforming Your Care”.
“Sinn Féin will continue to prioritise frontline health services and stand up for the hard-pressed staff and ensure their dedication and professionalism are recognised,” she added.