The BMA in Northern Ireland has spoken out in favour of free personal and nursing care.
Speaking, yesterday, following the debate in the NI Assembly on free personal care, BMA(NI) Chairman, Dr Brian Patterson, said: "The BMA has been calling for free personal care for several years now.
"We believe that many elderly people are being heavily penalised by having to pay for their personal care and at a time when they are most vulnerable and can ill afford to do so."
BMA(NI) says that long term care, personal and nursing care, should be defined as including all care received by people unable to live at home without support. It should embrace long term care in hospitals, nursing and residential homes, and the health and social services support people receive in their own homes.
Dr Patterson continued: "Free personal care also needs to be offered to anyone who needs it, irrespective of their age. Often young people suffering from chronic conditions will need long-term support and their families are frequently left to provide the nursing and/or personal care required. This must be addressed and changed.
"We firmly believe that Scotland has got it right and we want to see a similar model put in place for Northern Ireland."