Paediatricians call for return to power-sharing

Paediatricians call for return to power-sharing

Children of low income families are suffering because of Northern Ireland's political vacuum and the deepening cost of living crisis, paediatricians have warned.

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Members of The Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health said patients were missing important appointments because of travel costs.

They also said parents were skipping meals in order to feed their children.

Dr Raymond Nethercott said Stormont should get back up and running.

Stormont ministers remain in place but they do not have full powers to take major decisions or make new policy.

That is because there is no functioning executive without a first and deputy first minister.

"We are seeing more children and families needing and seeking help," Ireland officer Dr Nethercott told BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme.

"In many ways they're not getting the help they need outside the hospital environment.

"They end up in greater distress than they really need to be."

He said it meant small minor illnesses became more difficult to deal with with those from deprived backgrounds particularly suffering.

"They are missing appointments as they can't afford travel, especially in rural areas," he said.

"People in low paid jobs just cant afford to take time off to bring their children to appointments."

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