No quick cure for health service ills

Irish Independent - - Letters & Editorial Comment - Rathed­mond, Sligo

■ When try­ing to as­cer­tain what ex­actly ails our health service, one need look no fur­ther than the out­cry from con­sul­tants at the mere sug­ges­tion that pri­vate pa­tients should not be treated in pub­lic hos­pi­tals in a bid to free up beds to ad­dress the grotesque level of in­equity in the sys­tem (“Ma­ter­nity care will be harmed if pri­vate beds lost, con­sul­tants warn”, Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent, Au­gust 10).

It seems self-in­ter­est is alive and well de­spite what the coun­try has gone through this past decade. Do they care at all about the one million on wait­ing lists? Or the sit­u­a­tion where one cit­i­zen can face wait­ing years for care while an­other, who can af­ford to pay, saun­ters on past the queue to be treated within days in a pub­lic hos­pi­tal? And dare we men­tion that many on those wait­ing lists, de­spite their years of tax con­tri­bu­tions to pro­vide the fa­cil­i­ties, will never get to see the in­side of a hos­pi­tal?

The In­sti­tute of Ob­ste­tri­cians and Gy­nae­col­o­gists, which in re­cent times was never off the air­waves ex­press­ing the need for com­pas­sion in health­care, seems now to be very com­fort­able with many peo­ple be­ing treated cru­elly so long as the gravy train is left undis­turbed. It went on to sug­gest that a one-tier pub­lic sys­tem would “de­prive women of their choice of care”, when in fact it is the very ex­is­tence of that “choice” which condemns the ma­jor­ity to suf­fer and wait for care.

Sadly, the vested in­ter­ests can rest easy. This and pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments’ pol­icy of leav­ing things to the “mar­ket” means that noth­ing will change soon – just look at the ap­palling hous­ing cri­sis as a good ex­am­ple of how far our politi­cians will go to pro­tect in­ter­est groups.

Jim O’Sullivan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.