NI: Judicial reviews brought over ‘unlawful’ length of NHS waiting lists

NI: Judicial reviews brought over 'unlawful' length of NHS waiting lists

Two judicial review applications brought over the length of NHS waiting lists in Northern Ireland are set to be heard by the High Court in Belfast early next year.

Solicitor Ciaran O’Hare of McIvor Farrell Solicitors is representing litigants May Kitchen and Eileen Wilson in the cases concerning “incredibly long and unacceptable delays” in the NHS.

The cases have been listed together for leave hearings on 7 January 2021. Senior counsel have already been engaged and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has sent a letter to the court in support of the litigants.

Mr O’Hare said: “The differences between waiting times in Northern Ireland compared with the rest of the UK are staggering. However, in terms of spending, spending on Northern Ireland is higher than the UK average.

“My clients say that, given that Northern Ireland’s healthcare system receives the equivalent funding as the system in Great Britain, its present condition is, simply put, unacceptable.

“The system is in dire need of urgent and drastic reform and my clients wish to try to effect positive change by seeking a declaration from the court that the minimum standards required by law are being flouted.”

He added: “These are the first cases of their kind and they will likely have significant ramifications for all of the people of Northern Ireland.”

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