Wednesday 7 December 2016

Dan O'Brien: Varadkar will need guile, patience and persistence to improve Health

Money was thrown at the department up to 2008, proving that is only one factor in creating a good system, says Dan O'Brien

Published 24/08/2014 | 02:30

‘We haven’t cracked the paradigm that it’s about the patient, not about the people working in the system’, said Tracey Cooper, former head of the Health Information and Quality Authority, earlier this year. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
‘We haven’t cracked the paradigm that it’s about the patient, not about the people working in the system’, said Tracey Cooper, former head of the Health Information and Quality Authority, earlier this year. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The flow of health controversies is neverending. The role of the HSE in the latest abortion-related case and the premature departure of the top civil servant in the Department of Health were two charged issues over the past week alone.

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Criticisms of the healthcare system are constant and come from many quarters, but how bad is Ireland's healthcare system? And, as importantly, can the new Health Minister Leo Varadkar do much to improve it?

Let's start by saying that managing healthcare systems is extremely difficult given the extraordinary complexity of modern provision, as is to be seen in the frequency of controversy around the issue almost everywhere.

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