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Well-known member
Oct 22, 2009
I watched that programme last night, and apologies if this was covered in the threads on it, but got me thinking about the false economics at work in health, especially when looked at from the wider economy.

So, and bear with me, its a bit simplistic I know, but I think it needs consideration.

100k plus people on waiting lists.
Lets assume that 10,000 of those are not working/not in labour force as a result of this, either they themselves, or as a parent, or partner and are in receipt of a Social Welfare payment, carer, disability, invalidity etc.
If those 10k people are receiving €10,000 per annum each, that costs the state 100m.
The states own figures say each person that works is worth 20k to the state, the saving on social welfare, direct taxes paid, and additional indirect tax on spending.
So, if 1000 of those people got a job it would save the state 20m in a year. Now, how many operations in a private hospital would that pay for? Would it not be in the states interest to spend that money, the 20m on operations in private hospitals, and it would pay for itself between 1 and 2 years? Would it not be in the interests of the depts. of finance, social welfare, and enterprise?

Case 2, cataracts. about 6k to get done privately. Tends to affect older people more so than younger people. Now, lets say it keeps an older person out of a nursing home for just 12 months. Surely it makes far more sense to spend the 6k and save massively on the costs of the nursing home, or in some cases the hospital bed?

Case 3 - 2 year rolling budget. From my dealings with HSE one of its issues is sections underspending for first 11 months and then loosening the purse strings to ensure the following years budget remains the same. Give them a 2 year rolling budget, eg 1m in 2017 and 2018, if you spend 900k in 2017, you still get 1m in 2018, and in 2018 you get your 2019 allocation and so on. Might seem like penny pinching, but I would estimate that this type of thing is costing the HSE 20m a year at least.

Prior to the bust Private Hospitals could deal with 20000 inpatients and 10000 outpatients for the NTPT, when the fund had a 90m budget (that's out of 400000 patients overall). Is it not time to get that back up to the 90m level - its 2017 budget is 20m in 2017 rising to 50m in 2018, so would it not be make more economic sense to spend more now, as it could in effect pay for itself?

im axeled

Well-known member
Nov 24, 2010
after some intensive and very painfull treatment,i was told some years ago by a the pain professional at my local hospital to go home and live away the best i can, that he would arrange home support for me, last week my gp had still not heard from him and has asked for that report, as there are no floor boards in the hospital where did the support go

Hans Von Horn

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
People tend to overconsume health services.

Erudite Caveman

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
It is hard to know.

Kinda like Tolstoy never said, healthy people are alike, sick people are all ill in their own way. There is often more than one bad thing going on with sick people, for example, curing cataracts won't empty the nursing homes of people with cataracts.

But definitely agree regarding the NTPF. Seems like the time is right to ramp that up again.


Well-known member
Mar 3, 2010
The OP is talking about common sense and the health service...

As someone who worked as a contractor and as a someone who was involved in helping to care from my both my parents i've found them to be mutually exclusive in many cases over the years......

From what i've seen there seems to be a problem with the middle management...not enough power to make decisions and sometimes just won't trying to kick it onto someone else in case they get their hand slapped if something goes wrong.......there seems to be a culture of blame in existance....but then that seems to run through many many sections of of the public and private sectors....

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