Monday 5 December 2016

Parties need to reach consensus on fixing our health service

Published 07/11/2015 | 02:30

'In 2015, Ireland remains the only European country without universal access to primary care'
'In 2015, Ireland remains the only European country without universal access to primary care'

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Einstein's cliché applies perfectly to political and management responses to the myriad of crises in our health system.

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There is a reason that for two decades tens of thousands of people have had to wait too long on trolleys in our emergency departments. Despite two national task forces and hundreds of millions of euro in public money, no government has solved this perennial issue, which forces citizens into inhumane circumstances.

Similarly, there are reasons that Ireland has spectacularly failed to bring down waiting times for public patients for planned hospital treatment. Highlighted as far back as the 1990s, despite politicians promising to tackle this and lots more public money being spent, consecutive governments have failed to bring waiting times anywhere in line with other high-income countries.

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