22 September 2016

The Committee for Health - What does it do and how does it work?

What is the purpose of the Committee?

Health is one of the largest departments in the Northern Ireland Executive. Its budget represents nearly half of the total budget for Northern Ireland.

The Assembly’s Health Committee is responsible for checking and challenging the work of the Department as well as playing a part in considering, revising and developing legislation (laws). The Committee also takes briefings from the Minister, Michelle O'Neill, her officials and other stakeholders, and carries out inquiries into matters of interest.

The Committee meets each week the Assembly is sitting and members of the public are welcome to attend.

How does it work?

Some of the areas that the Committee are responsible for are:
  • hospitals and social care;
  • dentistry;
  • the Blood Transfusion Service;
  • Fire and Rescue Service;
  • the Ambulance Service; and
  • all the regional health and social care trusts.

Who sits on the Committee?

There are 11 MLAs on the Health Committee.

Committee Membership

  • Committee Chairperson: Paula Bradley
  • Deputy Chairperson: Gary Middleton
  • Trevor Clarke
  • Catherine Seeley
  • Pat Sheehan
  • Ian Milne
  • Mark H Durkan
  • Jo-Anne Dobson
  • Robbie Butler
  • Paula Bradshaw
  • Gerry Carroll

How can I get involved with the work of the Committee?

If you want to get involved with the work of the Committee, you can respond to their inquiries, which will be published on their Committee page and read the Minutes of the meetings, as well as any Evidence Sessions. You may also request to give evidence, if you or your organisation is affected by the issues that the Committee is discussing, including Bill inquiries by contacting the Clerk of the Committee.

You can watch the Committee meetings on the live stream on the Assembly’s website and access the ‘Watch/Listen Again’ the day after the meeting.

You can follow the Committee on Twitter @NIAHealth

You can also contact the Committee by writing to the Clerk:
Eilis Haughey
Room 416,
Parliament Buildings,
Ballymiscaw, Stormont,
Belfast BT4 3XX

Email: Committee.Health@niassembly.gov.uk
Or contact Committee Members directly; you can find their details on the Committee page or on the Your MLAs page on the Assembly’s website.