Wednesday 22 February 2017

Politicians should give up much of their power over healthcare

Published 10/02/2017 | 02:30

Finance Minister Michael Noonan. ‘The Finance Department has too much control over health funding’. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Finance Minister Michael Noonan. ‘The Finance Department has too much control over health funding’. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The recent health crisis can be laid firmly at the door of our politicians and the political system. We have known for over 30 years of crises in emergency departments, inequitable two-tier hospital care, and waiting list problems.

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The problems persist despite the passing years. The cause of this is failure of political leadership. Professor John Searle at the University of California refers to political leadership as the ability to make people want to do something they would not otherwise have wanted to do.

Clearly, there has been no political party leader in the Dáil in the last 30 years with this capacity. Part of the reason for this failure is related to the difficulty of delivering reform.

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