A search for a new Northern Ireland health minister is underway following the resignation of the current post holder, Jim Wells.
Incumbent minister Wells resigned following comments he made about gay couples during a hustings event. He has said that he wishes to spend more time supporting his wife who has had two strokes and undergone heart surgery.
“The service needs continuity. To lose a minister only eight months into his tenure is at the very least unfortunate”, said BMA Northern Ireland deputy council chair Tom Black.
“We need to find a replacement as soon as possible. Someone who has the knowledge, skills and experience to do the job. It is the most difficult job in the Northern Ireland Assembly and should not be accepted by someone who already holds another job.”
The Democratic Unionist Party has yet to announce a permanent replacement and there are no obvious candidates. In the interim, Mr Well’s ministerial workload will be dealt with by finance minister Simon Hamilton.
Mr Wells will remain in his post until 11 May.