Tuesday 28 February 2017

Why 'break-even' medical services must be resisted

Paul Bell

With the release of the Mott MacDonald consultancy report, HSE West has been forced to reveal that a hospital closure is under medium-term consideration to save between €45m and €54m as part of a strategy aimed at "closing the break-even gap". The development signals a new and disturbing low in the HSE's management of the national health service, in a region that is proven to have the highest population age profile in the State.

The latest discussions with the HSE West has a total focus on the "money and business case". Somewhere in the mix the trade union movement acts as the citizens' conscience, reminding the HSE of its remit to deliver a health service for those in need in a safe and professional manner.

The HSE has determined that the public health service should fail in its mission. It never ceases to amaze me that health service managers can say they are equipped and competent to manage the service but fail to explain why it is that, only seven months into the financial year, HSE West is €54m in deficit.

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