Monday 5 December 2016

And now for the hard part on health

Published 29/04/2011 | 05:00

Health Minister James Reilly's decision to force the resignation of the HSE directors is unlikely to do him much, if any, political damage.

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After just six years in existence, the HSE has managed to become massively unpopular. "Requesting" the resignation of its directors, as the minister did yesterday, will play well with public opinion.

It's not difficult to see why. This year the HSE will require almost €14bn of public money. The government's health budget has risen almost five-fold over the past 15 years. Yet despite this massive increase in health spending, improvements in health care have been painfully slow in coming. Every winter we are treated to the sight of hundreds of hospital patients on trolleys, more than 50,000 people are on hospital waiting lists, and all too often access to much-needed treatment depends on the patient's ability to pay rather than their medical condition.

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