When will they ever realise the problem is lack of specialists?
We should be shamed by our dependence on junior doctors, says John Crown, but it's the natural fallout of a ruinous bureaucracy
Eighteen years of frustration with the bureaucracy that has ruined our health system finally bubbled over this week. The precipitating event was the debate on the Medical Practitioners Act, a piece of "emergency" legislation that was rushed through the Oireachtas on Thursday and Friday, so that our hospitals would have enough doctors to open tomorrow. If it wasn't embarrassing enough that the nation with the highest number of medical schools per capita in Europe could find itself in such a predicament, we were legislating to plunder badly needed doctors from India and Pakistan.
Our post-graduate medical training bodies have also been press-ganged into rolling out a crash assessment programme to test the competence, sanity and educational credentials of these doctors. Please remember junior doctor posts should be educational, not service. The proximate cause was the incredibly irresponsible decision by the HSE last year to maintain some junior medical posts even though they admitted they had no training value.
Who made this decision?