Wednesday 18 January 2017

Patients still paying for legacy of failures

Published 12/01/2016 | 02:30

Mr Varadkar and Taoiseach Enda Kenny can not escape their own responsibilities for the perennial trolley scandal
Mr Varadkar and Taoiseach Enda Kenny can not escape their own responsibilities for the perennial trolley scandal

It often appears that practical politics depends on a readiness to ignore certain facts while prioritising others. The problem is, if you ignore them for too long they seize up, becoming almost impossible to repair; the Department of Health is testament to this.

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Five decades of failure to adequately resource the growing needs of a swelling population, coupled with a failure to manage funds that were committed, have resulted in a situation where it no longer has the confidence of many of those who work within it, nor many of those whom it serves.

There is also an issue for the electorate. When asked, voters have consistently cited health as a priority, yet they have still tended to vote for the party that offers the most glittering giveaways.

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