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Unhealthy Health Services:
Our health services have been going downhill on a gradual slope for the past three decades at least and every Minister and every Government had a plan to rescue it but failed. The current Minister, when top doctors forecast an almighty storm in our hospitals this winter, announced that he had ‘a plan’. When Leo took office he had ‘a plan’ but it would take 3 years for it to happen. When Simon took over he had ’a plan’ but it would take 10 years for it to pay dividends. Unfortunately there are people who cannot wait that long – there are adults and children who could have been treated but will have died before then. Doctors agree that adults and children on waiting lists are dying because of the delay. Doctors agree that patients, especially the elderly and very young, who are made to wait in overcrowded A & E’s are dying because of the delay and overcrowding. Doctors agree that the delays mean that the patients, who are still alive when they get to the top of the list, will take longer to get better and will be extravagantly more expensive to treat because their condition will have deteriorated and they will require a longer time as in-patient and more expensive drugs and treatment to deal with their problem. All along it has been abundantly clear that the shortage of Consultants, doctors and nurses was a major factor causing healthcare problems like waiting lists and overcrowding. We were promised extra beds but they cannot open those beds because they do not have the nurses and doctors. They spent big money last year in England trying to attract nurses to come to Ireland. They hoped to get 500 to agree but they got 91 and since then I am told that almost half of those have gone back to England. Conditions in which doctors and nurses are expected to work are such that they are not getting sufficient money for the job but, more importantly, the overcrowding and lack of resources puts them in a position where they cannot do their work as expected and as they would wish, without huge stress. Until such time as the Minister and the Government as a whole realise that they have to improve the working conditions and atmosphere for nurses they are never going to solve the crisis. The extra billions they are investing in the Health Service needs to be spent on getting frontline staff. Mr. O’Brien, former head of the HSE, was critical of the present Minister for Health over the past weekend and I was surprised at his outburst as he was the man in charge of the HSE for three Ministers for Health and yet the services did not improve, in fact the waiting lists and problems increased. He was hopeful of closing services and downgrading a number of hospitals and we all know the benefit that brings to both patients and staff! The pushing of patients from one hospital into another hospital, causing overcrowding and overstretched staff, has been the cause of nurses and doctors refusing to work in the ‘Big’ hospitals. So he would create more monsters to frighten more staff away? The present Taoiseach and Minister for Health respond to every crisis with the promise that they have the solving of that problem as a priority. How many priorities can one have at the one time? Giving more money to the National Treatment Fund to pay for patients to get their treatment in a Private Hospital or abroad is good for the patients who can do so but there is no benefit to our own Health Services from that money. From past experience it does not help to lower the waiting lists whereas using that money to extend the weekly services within our own public service might have a more positive outcome for many others.
All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Our health services have been going downhill on a gradual slope for the past three decades at least and every Minister and every Government had a plan to rescue it but failed. The current Minister, when top doctors forecast an almighty storm in our hospitals this winter, announced that he had ‘a plan’. When Leo took office he had ‘a plan’ but it would take 3 years for it to happen. When Simon took over he had ’a plan’ but it would take 10 years for it to pay dividends. Unfortunately there are people who cannot wait that long – there are adults and children who could have been treated but will have died before then. Doctors agree that adults and children on waiting lists are dying because of the delay. Doctors agree that patients, especially the elderly and very young, who are made to wait in overcrowded A & E’s are dying because of the delay and overcrowding. Doctors agree that the delays mean that the patients, who are still alive when they get to the top of the list, will take longer to get better and will be extravagantly more expensive to treat because their condition will have deteriorated and they will require a longer time as in-patient and more expensive drugs and treatment to deal with their problem. All along it has been abundantly clear that the shortage of Consultants, doctors and nurses was a major factor causing healthcare problems like waiting lists and overcrowding. We were promised extra beds but they cannot open those beds because they do not have the nurses and doctors. They spent big money last year in England trying to attract nurses to come to Ireland. They hoped to get 500 to agree but they got 91 and since then I am told that almost half of those have gone back to England. Conditions in which doctors and nurses are expected to work are such that they are not getting sufficient money for the job but, more importantly, the overcrowding and lack of resources puts them in a position where they cannot do their work as expected and as they would wish, without huge stress. Until such time as the Minister and the Government as a whole realise that they have to improve the working conditions and atmosphere for nurses they are never going to solve the crisis. The extra billions they are investing in the Health Service needs to be spent on getting frontline staff. Mr. O’Brien, former head of the HSE, was critical of the present Minister for Health over the past weekend and I was surprised at his outburst as he was the man in charge of the HSE for three Ministers for Health and yet the services did not improve, in fact the waiting lists and problems increased. He was hopeful of closing services and downgrading a number of hospitals and we all know the benefit that brings to both patients and staff! The pushing of patients from one hospital into another hospital, causing overcrowding and overstretched staff, has been the cause of nurses and doctors refusing to work in the ‘Big’ hospitals. So he would create more monsters to frighten more staff away? The present Taoiseach and Minister for Health respond to every crisis with the promise that they have the solving of that problem as a priority. How many priorities can one have at the one time? Giving more money to the National Treatment Fund to pay for patients to get their treatment in a Private Hospital or abroad is good for the patients who can do so but there is no benefit to our own Health Services from that money. From past experience it does not help to lower the waiting lists whereas using that money to extend the weekly services within our own public service might have a more positive outcome for many others.
Unhealthy Health Services: