Health system has tried to do more with less but it simply can't take any more cuts
Ireland experienced the greatest fall in health expenditure of 53 European countries between 2008 and 2011. Research on the impact of the economic crisis on the Irish health system reveals diminishing returns from crude cuts to healthcare system budgets over the past six years.
Despite budget cuts of over €2.7bn and 12,000 fewer HSE staff, the health system managed to do more with less, year on year, from 2008 to 2012. Since the end of 2012, the system has had no choice but to do less with less.
Doing more with less was achieved up to 2012 through the introduction of significant cuts to staff and pay, reducing professionals' fees, better deals with pharmaceutical companies and more flexible working arrangements facilitated by the Croke Park Agreement.