Tuesday 22 August 2017

Private hospitals key to curing waiting-list crisis

Recurrent ideological barriers at the root of unacceptable public system problems

Critical: Brian Fitzgerald says the system is creaking Photo: Steve Humphreys
Critical: Brian Fitzgerald says the system is creaking Photo: Steve Humphreys

Brian Fitzgerald

Waiting lists in public hospitals are at an all-time high. We now have 530,000 people waiting, often unacceptable lengths of time, for critical diagnostics and treatments. The system is creaking - and that's before winter has even begun.

The challenges facing our public hospital system are compounded by many issues. Not least the obstacles to recruiting and retaining consultants, and the underuse of available capacity in private hospitals.

As a former CEO of one of Ireland's largest and leading acute adult hospitals, St James's, and the current Deputy CEO in Beacon Hospital, I have seen the system from both sides.

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