Is a lack of devolved government in Northern Ireland harming the health service?
Patients in Northern Ireland are having to wait longer for treatment as performance against waiting times targets continues to worsen.
At the end of June, almost three quarters of patients were waiting longer than the target nine weeks for an out-patient appointment, while almost a third were waiting more than a year.
Almost two thirds of patients had been waiting more than 13 weeks for day-case or in-patient admission, while more than a fifth had been waiting more than a year.
The figures were published in a week that rallies were held across Northern Ireland protesting at the lack of devolved government at Stormont. The Northern Ireland Assembly has not been sitting for 19 months and no early way out of the political stalemate looks likely.
Department of Health NI: Publication of the quarterly Northern Ireland waiting times statistics ― position at 30 June 2018