Published Monday, 31 March 2014
Health Minister Edwin Poots dismissed the comment. (© Pacemaker)
Maeve McLaughlin made the comments as the Assembly discussed the revelation that the Northern Trust is investigating the deaths of 11 patients, including five babies, over a five-year period in circumstances where the response by the Trust was "below standard".
DUP minister Mr Poots dismissed the call from the Sinn Féin MLA and said the deaths happened before his tenure and added that his actions meant light has been shone on the current situation.
He said: "Had I done nothing within the Northern Trust then the member may have some case to make but in 2011 I put in a turnaround team in the Trust, that was the year I took office."
It emerged last Friday that the Trust has identified a total of 20 separate incidents between 2008 and 2013 - across a number of areas including obstetrics and gynaecology, imaging and the Trust's EDs - where the Trust had fallen short. Eleven cases involved deaths, five of these were perinatal.
The Trust has apologised and promised to learn from its mistakes.
Ms McLaughlin said at Monday's emergency debate: "Will the minister now, or should the minister, be considering his position or at the very least looking to scrap Transforming Your Care?"
Mr Poots replied: "Mr Speaker I am sorry that the chairman has let herself down so badly.
"We are dealing with deaths that stretch back to 2008. I don't want to be political about this but I was not minister until 2011, so I would hardly be resigning over deaths that took place prior to that."
© UTV News