Wednesday 21 February 2018

Harris: I'll replace hospital managers with expert leaders

Health Minister Simon Harris Photo: Tom Burke
Health Minister Simon Harris Photo: Tom Burke

Philip Ryan and Maeve Sheehan

Minister for Health Simon Harris is prepared to replace hospital managers with outside experts as part of a radical attempt to solve the trolley crisis.

Mr Harris indicated that he is ready to use a commitment in the Programme for Government to draft in "other providers to manage hospitals when there are consistently poor outcomes, patient experiences and financial management".

In an interview with the Sunday Independent, he said: "You can't decide all managers are all the same and they are all equally good. You have to decide what's good practice and what's bad practice, measure it and demand more of it - and if more of it means bringing experts, bringing in outsiders, let's absolutely do that, so let's have legislation underpinning it."

The Minister has already instructed the director general, Tony O'Brien, to implement strict accountability rules that allow him remove under-performing hospital managers.

Record numbers of patients were crowded into hospital emergency departments last week. Overcrowding eased from a high of 612 on Tuesday to 395 on Friday. The figures fell to 190 on Saturday, according to the HSE.

But another spike in influenza could trigger another overcrowding crisis in the coming weeks.

Sunday Independent

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