Tuesday 23 January 2018

It's Groundhog Day for broken health system - and will be until we reform it

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

Ray Kinsella

Simon Harris is the latest in a long line of health ministers who are "doing their best". That will never be enough until either governments get real about the economics of acute health care, or voters get serious about displacing administrations that are not doing enough.

So, once again, we're trapped in 'Groundhog Day'. Same news stories - same advice to "go to your GP".

Does this sound familiar? "For some time, it has been evident that the capacity of our acute hospital system has not kept pace with the increasing demands being imposed on it. The consequences of that under-capacity are well known, ie cancellation of elective admissions, long delays in accident and emergency departments, waiting lists for elective procedures and unacceptably high bed occupancy levels in the major hospitals…"

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