North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay has been appointed to the Health Committee by Sinn Féin.
He begins this week and has launched a scathing attack on the Minister Simon Hamilton who has resigned and plans to be reappointed and resign every week.
Mr McKay will continue to chair the Finance Committee and lead the NAMA Inquiry that is currently taking place.
Mr McKay said: “Health is a number 1 issue for people and for families. Therefore it needs to be a number 1 issue for political parties who shouldn’t use it as a political football.
“The decision by the DUP to leave an empty chair at the helm of our Health Service is truly galling. Sinn Féin will be asking for a list of the decisions by the Department that will be held up and postponed as a result of this decision.
“At a time when the health service is under many pressures now is not the time to play fast and loose with our health service.”
Mr McKay also met with the Chief Executive of the Northern Trust about local issues in North Antrim in recent days: “Whilst I do not see eye to eye with the Northern Trust on a number of issues what we do agree on is that we need more resources for our services within the Trust area and it is important that our acute services are made more sustainable through further investment including key capital projects.
“This is something that I intend to work closely with the Trust on as we need a budget here in accordance with our rural need.
“I also urged the Chief Executive to engage constructively on the matter of the Dalriada hospital. He has given me an assurance that they will give due consideration to the report commissioned by Moyle Council and work constrictively with the Save the Dal group in the weeks and months ahead. I welcome this assurance.
“It is almost a year since the Dal’s future was under threat and I believe that it can have a long term future as a result of stakeholders working together to come up with an innovative solution that delivers better outcomes in terms of both finance and community health and wellbeing,” concluded Mr McKay.