Tuesday 23 July 2019

An Irish Ted Kennedy could fix our health mess

SATURDAY: I had an interesting conversation with seasoned members of the medical profession today in which they lamented the state of the current Irish health system.

The discussion was sparked by the length of waiting lists for those hoping to see a consultant in one of the country's leading ENT units.

One of the professionals said that when a call is put through to a hospital on behalf of a patient the professional will not be told whereabouts on the waiting list that name sits. And this can often be after a patient has been waiting for years to see a particular consultant over a condition that they cannot afford to have treated by going private.

They also revealed that many foreign nationals now residing here are returning to their country of origin to be treated when they fall ill, as they will be seen more quickly, and at less expense.

Taking out health insurance in this country is an increasingly costly practice especially for young parents with young families. Even those with health insurance are often left dissatisfied with the service they receive.

Take the Chappaquiddick scandal out of the equation and Senator Ted Kennedy is best remembered by his countrymen and women for his lengthy campaign to provide all Americans with a high-quality and affordable health-care system.

What this country needs now is someone with a similar goal, and drive. We have some of the top surgeons, consultants, doctors and nurses in the world, the problem is how difficult it is to get to see them.

A designated individual needs to roll up the sleeves, get his or her hands on the blueprint for our health system and tear it to shreds, before building a new service from scratch.

And even if that was all they got around to in 2014, it would make a difference to the lives of every single one of us.

Enniscorthy Guardian