The real problems are political: 1. Vastly overpaid and overpensioned staff thanks to unions and professions 2. Workers co-op that tolerates restrictive practices in "trench warfare" negotiations according to the last HSE CEO. 3. An acute care hospital in every town fought for by local TDs 4. Arguably, an inability of the government and the HSE to efficiently manage a huge bureaucracy, unlike say France or the UK.50 years ago hospitals had an in-house supply of slave labourers i.e. student nurses, 2 to 3 intakes per year, tied to the hospital for 4 years and doing the donkey work of cleaning, housekeeping and nursing.
The Health service never accepted that student nurses had become supernumerary with the move to colleges and never adequately replaced the on floor nursing staff to pre degree levels.
The trolley crisis and huge waiting lists show that our health service can cope with emergency cases OR elective cases but not both... there are simply not enough beds for a growing population.
And soon we will be lacking GPs too thus dessimating the one part of the system thats been working despite the ods against it - receiving just 4% of the budget despite treating 100% of the sick.
Who refers the sick to hospital?
Where do the hospital patients return to for after hospital care? - their GP.
Our health service has gone from a place of caring and learning to firefighting on a daily basis.
Is it too much to hope that the nurses strike - where nurses and patients were overwhelmingly of one voice, has given those in charge of running the system some pause for thought.