Tuesday 24 April 2018

Eamon Delaney: Consultants should take their medicine

THEY used to be the golden untouchables of Irish society: the priest, the bank manager, and the veteran TD, usually Fianna Fail. But one by one in recent years they have become discredited and now there are very few professions or public positions to which the Irish people are expected to give unqualified respect.

But you can put medical consultants on that older list. The very word 'consultants' still evokes servility and awe, and they can seem all-powerful, especially to those in poor health or a medical emergency.

Which is why they are paid so much, we assume, and why they were so hard to get to meet or see. A friend, with a family health issue recently, was told that the relevant consultant would talk to him at a certain time, on a certain day, and not to miss the phone call.

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