Big spender Simon Harris, minister of health

Patslatt1

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In an article by Philip Ryan in the Sunday Independent, "Simon Harris has unveiled radical plans..."*, the plans include building three new hospitals and awarding potentially big pay increases to hospital doctors and nurses to keep them from emigrating to the anglosaxon countries such as the US where pay is very high.

The new hospitals would specialise in non emergency procedures, relieving the acute care hospitals of that burden. This specialisation is a good concept going by experience in the UK where two private sector hospitals have proved very succesful in quickly treating NHS patients for hip and knee replacement surgery.

But why is there a need for three new hospitals when Ireland is vastly oversupplied already with 29 acute care hospitals when maybe 6 to 8 would suffice? As a non specialist observer, I can only speculate that a)those hospitals would want to hold on to acute care status instead of converting to non emergency procedures because the employees couldn't be persuaded to move jobs to other acute care hospitals and b)the new hospitals would offer major increases in efficiencies unavailable in existing hospitals. If the latter point is incorrect, it seems senseless to build new hospitals that may take years to arrive.

As for the minister's perception that big pay increases are necesary to prevent emigration, the first measure he should take is to stop paying all salaried hospital consultant specialists the same pay in totally different medical specialties. The money saved by cutting the pay of those who are overpaid relative to international pay could be used to raise the pay of those who are underpaid and likely to emigrate. In US surveys of pay availble online, different medical specialties vary enormously in pay.

As for nurses pay, EU surveys show that Irish nurses are paid way more than in the UK and France. Ireland is also fairly unique in the large number of practicing nurses, among the very highest per 100,000 population in OECD countries.

Before awarding pay increases to nurses, Minister Harris should find out what they are all doing and improve their low productivity (this is not to knock the contribution of overworked A&E nurses). Are they spending too much time shuffling paper files instead of being provided with computerised systems? Are there more chiefs than Indians? Are hospitals severely restricted from hiring nurses aides and helpers? Mental hospitals were prevented by the union from hiring nurses helpers until a few years ago, contrary to good international practice.

*link unavailable on Google search
 


Ardillaun

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What percentage of Irish doctors end up working permanently in the US these days? In my day few did.
 

Patslatt1

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What percentage of Irish doctors end up working permanently in the US these days? In my day few did.
On salaries a bit above the Irish average, Irish marginal tax rates rise to 50% but there is a big saving in very low property tax on houses. In the US, federal and state income taxes apply only on very high incomes in the hundreds of thousands. The government recognises that income taxes discourage highly paid professionals from returning. But it is unlikely to lower taxes because of the need to reduce the massive national debt as well as constant greedy pay and pensions demands from a vastly overpaid public sector that all governments pander to shamelessly.
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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"As a non specialist observer".

There was a time when threads needed some sort of supporting evidence or facts...
 

nakatomi

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In an article by Philip Ryan in the Sunday Independent, "Simon Harris has unveiled radical plans..."*, the plans include building three new hospitals and awarding potentially big pay increases to hospital doctors and nurses to keep them from emigrating to the anglosaxon countries such as the US where pay is very high.

The new hospitals would specialise in non emergency procedures, relieving the acute care hospitals of that burden. This specialisation is a good concept going by experience in the UK where two private sector hospitals have proved very succesful in quickly treating NHS patients for hip and knee replacement surgery.

But why is there a need for three new hospitals when Ireland is vastly oversupplied already with 29 acute care hospitals when maybe 6 to 8 would suffice? As a non specialist observer, I can only speculate that a)those hospitals would want to hold on to acute care status instead of converting to non emergency procedures because the employees couldn't be persuaded to move jobs to other acute care hospitals and b)the new hospitals would offer major increases in efficiencies unavailable in existing hospitals. If the latter point is incorrect, it seems senseless to build new hospitals that may take years to arrive.

As for the minister's perception that big pay increases are necesary to prevent emigration, the first measure he should take is to stop paying all salaried hospital consultant specialists the same pay in totally different medical specialties. The money saved by cutting the pay of those who are overpaid relative to international pay could be used to raise the pay of those who are underpaid and likely to emigrate. In US surveys of pay availble online, different medical specialties vary enormously in pay.

As for nurses pay, EU surveys show that Irish nurses are paid way more than in the UK and France. Ireland is also fairly unique in the large number of practicing nurses, among the very highest per 100,000 population in OECD countries.

Before awarding pay increases to nurses, Minister Harris should find out what they are all doing and improve their low productivity (this is not to knock the contribution of overworked A&E nurses). Are they spending too much time shuffling paper files instead of being provided with computerised systems? Are there more chiefs than Indians? Are hospitals severely restricted from hiring nurses aides and helpers? Mental hospitals were prevented by the union from hiring nurses helpers until a few years ago, contrary to good international practice.

*link unavailable on Google search
If this was true, we should have no problem attracting nurses form Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK- recruitment campaigns to attract even Irish nurses back have been a disaster.

€250 k to attract 88 nurses, half of whom left again?
 

RasherHash

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"As a non specialist observer".

There was a time when threads needed some sort of supporting evidence or facts...
There was an acronym for "non specialist observer" back in the day, what was it, oh yeah,

Numpty :)
 

RasherHash

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mr_anderson

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If this was true, we should have no problem attracting nurses form Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK- recruitment campaigns to attract even Irish nurses back have been a disaster.

€250 k to attract 88 nurses, half of whom left again?

It's true.
Our medical staff are extremely well paid.

However, they are also extremely well taxed.
Additionally, our cost of living is very high.

It's a classic carrot & stick approach from the Irish government.
They offer a big fat juicy carrot, but once given, they use a big stick to get as much of it back as possible.

Consequently, the net benefit of moving to Ireland is minimal.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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mr_anderson

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Ask any doctor who works in a public & private hospital which one is the most efficient and they'll laugh.


Whenever I consider this matter, I immediately recall an incident that took place a decade ago when I was working late one night in an Emergency Department of a Dublin hospital that shall remain nameless.
A patient needed to be brought down to the x-ray department in a wheelchair, a short distance down the corridor. One of my colleagues, who was from Germany, could not comprehend why we all had to wait around for the porter, especially when the patient could be discharged if the investigation was normal.
So with the type of efficiency that has made his nation great, the other doctor simply pushed the patient down to radiology himself. Sometime later the porter arrived and began to rant and rave about how outrageous this behaviour was. I seem to recall the union was mentioned.

I was reminded of this glorious inefficiency in 2012, when I read an interview with Jimmy Sheehan (founder of the Blackrock Clinic) in the Sunday Business Post. Speaking about the Galway Clinic, Mr Sheehan made the following jaw-dropping statement: “In Galway we don’t have a single porter in the hospital. Beaumont Hospital has 200 porters. They’ve as many porters as they have junior doctors. It is all automated in Galway.”


For the record, I can personally attest to the fact that the Galway Clinic is one of the finest hospitals I have ever set foot in. Relatives of mine have attended there in the past and have received world-class healthcare, despite the apparent complete absence of any porters.
https://www.imt.ie/opinion/putting-patient-first-porters-29-01-2015/

Irish hospitals have monumental built-in inefficiencies.
Throwing money at the problem doesn't help.
In fact it only makes it worse, as it solidifies them.
 

PlanetBertie

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Why doesn't the new Minister for Health Harris Simon retrain the middle managers as nurses and doctors? Thus killing two stones with one bird?
 

Fr Peter McWhinger

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If this was true, we should have no problem attracting nurses form Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK- recruitment campaigns to attract even Irish nurses back have been a disaster.

€250 k to attract 88 nurses, half of whom left again?
How much do you think it costs to recruit a Nurse?
 

Clanrickard

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It's true.
Our medical staff are extremely well paid.

However, they are also extremely well taxed.
Additionally, our cost of living is very high.

It's a classic carrot & stick approach from the Irish government.
They offer a big fat juicy carrot, but once given, they use a big stick to get as much of it back as possible.

Consequently, the net benefit of moving to Ireland is minimal.
Cut the top rate of tax, get rid of USC but close off tax loopholes.
 

Clanrickard

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love him hate him Simon is getting paid regardless
Except come the next GE he can be booted out. Unlike the job for lifers in the public sector.
 


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