It's no good sticking a plaster on the current trolley crisis - it's time for a properly costed long-term plan
At this time of year, New Year's resolutions are common. Hands must be wrung. More must be done. This cannot happen again. Yes, it's early January, so there must be another A&E trolley crisis.
This time around, the outbreak of a particular strain of flu has been blamed for adding to what was already a high demand for A&E services. While that might have contributed to the problem in recent days, the recurring (or ongoing) A&E crisis is symptomatic of a wider problem in the Irish health system.
Before discussing that further, it is important to point out that it is not all bad news. We have a tendency at times like this to deride the Irish health service as a basket case and imagine that other countries have world-class systems. The truth is that those on the front line are generally providing a very good service, despite in many cases working under severe pressure. Meanwhile, other countries are struggling with issues like A&E overcrowding and waiting lists as well.