Health Minister Edwin Poots warned MLAs that taking a "grandstanding position" on welfare would have serious effects for the health service, on 8 October 2012.
In reply to a question from Sinn Fein's Maeve McLaughlin, the minister said potential cuts to the block grant if welfare reform was delayed would result in longer waits for hip replacement and heart surgery.
Earlier, Conall McDevitt of the SDLP asked for an update on the Transforming Your Care health reforms.
Mr Poots said he would make a statement to the assembly the following day.
In reply to a supplementary question, the minister said privatisation of primary care was not on the agenda.
Justice Minister David Ford said it was hoped that the Police Ombudsman could resume the investigation of historical cases in January.
The minister said he aimed to publish legislative proposals regarding the future operations of the Ombudsman's office in the first half of 2013.
Sinn Fein's Fra McCann asked for an update on the use of body scanners in prisons.
Mr Ford said the first of two millimetre wave machines had been installed at Magilligan Prison and the pilot was progressing well.