Tuesday 25 July 2017

HSE needs cash - but that won't fix management crisis

Health Minister Simon Harris with Dr John Murphy, consultant neonatologist, on the minister's recent visit to the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin Photo: Colin ORiordan
Health Minister Simon Harris with Dr John Murphy, consultant neonatologist, on the minister's recent visit to the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin Photo: Colin ORiordan

Eddie Molloy

It is widely reported that Health Minister Simon Harris and members of the Fine Gael parliamentary party have declared war on HSE managers, threatening to remove those who do not measure up. While conceding that more money is needed, they contend that the root of the problem is managerial incompetence.

In the past six weeks, if ever it was in doubt, it became abundantly clear that the HSE is not sufficiently funded to provide a quality, safe service. Just for example, estimates of the numbers dying every year in a dysfunctional A&E are put in the hundreds and one in every eight of the population is waiting more than a year, while they endure intolerable suffering to see a consultant.

Significant additional funding is needed just to keep a threadbare, dysfunctional service operational and coping with growing demand, until such time as the whole system, which everyone agrees is not fit for purpose, is transformed.

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