‘Ultimately, we get the health service we pay for,’ he said at the conference of the Northern Ireland branch of the Healthcare Financial Management Association in Belfast.
He added that without sustained investment and funding, society will need to ‘recalibrate’ its expectations of what the health and social care system can deliver.
Mr May said that while there are many actions that can be taken to make health and social care more efficient and effective, we must not pretend that these efficiencies alone will close the gap between demand and capacity. He specifically highlighted the issue of the ageing population and advances in medical science and how the gap between demand and capacity continues to grow.
He also stressed that despite the current challenges, ‘amazing things still happen every day in health and social care in Northern Ireland’ and that the ‘overwhelming majority of the most sick patients receive very high-quality care’.
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