State of the Health Service

wiseoldred

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Feb 22, 2005
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Considering the state of the health service and the governments failure to sort it out is it now time for more effective action to be taken. One suggestion has been a general strike starting with one day stoppages and building up to a more prolonged action. Comments please.
 


eurocrat

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Action to be taken by whom? And what would it achive? Health reforms don't happen overnight.
 

blue33

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eurocrat said:
Action to be taken by whom? And what would it achive? Health reforms don't happen overnight.
in this country it seems like they don't happen at all!
 

wiseoldred

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TheBanned said:
You'd hardly credit it that life expectancy has never been higher
Very true for certain sections of society. However, life expectancy increases for many reasons, not least access to good quality health care. For hundreds of people accross the country lying on trollies tonight the reality is that they don't have access to any kind of health care, good or bad. I seriously doubt that the current situation that exists in our health system would be tolerated in any other country in the developed world. Yet Irish people seem to think that there is no problem. For instance, some of the so called politically enlightened that post on this forum seem to think that the crisis in our hospitals is a creation of left wing politics and has no basis in truth. They should get out of their halls of residence more often and visit any hospital in the country to see for themselves.
 

Badnarik_Eire

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Feb 21, 2005
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Strike? If the special intrests kept theit mouths shut and started to co-operate with reform it would go alot faster (ie GPs consultants and admin)

There is a perfectly good reform programme there and it's being implemented.

Once the new structures are in place it will be alot easier to manage things like the a&e crisis and waiting lists.
 

Liberty-101

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Apr 15, 2005
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A prime example of government incompetence from successive administrations, one group has a reform plan that's can't get through and that many disagree with, the other disagrees with it and has no plan.

There should be a complete separation of medicine from the State. Everything but the ambulance service and treatment for people with pre-existing conditions can be more effectively provided in the private sector.

Government involvement has led to bureaucratic top-down management, rapidly escalating prices, costly regulations, criminalisation of doctors, and a stunning level of incompetence.
 

Conor

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Fixed.
 

Kerrygold

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Ah damn, I thought someone was going to point out that the Labour Party where to blame for the Health crisis.
 

mjcoughlan

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wiseoldred said:
Considering the state of the health service and the governments failure to sort it out is it now time for more effective action to be taken. One suggestion has been a general strike starting with one day stoppages and building up to a more prolonged action. Comments please.
That will only make a bad situation much worse. The trouble is with the health service is that there are too many chiefs and not enough indians. There are too many administrators. There are nurses who spend years studying and come out with qualifications and also come out with, in my opinion, a degree of snobbery and are unwilling to undertake hard graft. Hospitals are filthy and there is not only a reluctance, but hostility towards getting the private sector involved in the provision of health services.

There is no shortage of money going into the health service but the money is not being used wisely. Now I know the Tanaiste will be the first to admit that the health service is in a total mess. I personally don't know where she should begin. But if she is to improve things, she needs cooperation. She needs the support of the powers that be within the health service to implement reform. Strikes will not improve the situation one bit. In fact, that is a step backwards. There needs to be cooperation not hostility. I remain confident that she will deliver on health just as she delivered on Enterprise. She says that by the winter of this year we should see a marked improvement in the health service. I personally think this is dangerous talk but I also know that when she says something she means it.
 

TheBanned

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People having to wait on trolleys for a bed and overcrowding in A&E may not be ideal but it's not a crisis.

Everyday on radio Marion Finucane exhorts women to have a breastcheck and indeed another breastcheck, if it's been a while since her last one
because it's really important and could save your life.
After she's finished, a honey voiced girl advises that breast-check is currently only available in the Eastern and midlands areas.

This has been the way for years.

That has the makings of a crisis
 

Ronanr

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May 19, 2004
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U.S. figures

Paul Krugman in the New York Times today has some interesting figures, with regard to the cost of healthcare in the U.S:

"In 2002, the latest year for which comparable data are available, the United States spent $5,267 on health care for each man, woman and child in the population. Of this, $2,364, or 45 percent, was government spending, mainly on Medicare and Medicaid. Canada spent $2,931 per person, of which $2,048 came from the government. France spent $2,736 per person, of which $2,080 was government spending."


Yet despite this spending, as Krugman points out, the health of Americans is on average worse than that of the french or Canadians.

Why is this?

Well, Krugman pointed to a study that found that:
"the United States scores high on high-tech services - we have lots of M.R.I.'s - but on more prosaic measures, like the number of doctors' visits and number of days spent in hospitals, America is only average, or even below average. There's also direct evidence that identical procedures cost far more in the U.S. than in other advanced countries."

Why is the price of U.S. health care so high?

"One answer is doctors' salaries: although average wages in France and the United States are similar, American doctors are paid much more than their French counterparts. Another answer is that America's health care system drives a poor bargain with the pharmaceutical industry.

Above all, a large part of America's health care spending goes into paperwork. A 2003 study in The New England Journal of Medicine estimated that administrative costs took 31 cents out of every dollar the United States spent on health care, compared with only 17 cents in Canada."
 

Arnó

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Mar 22, 2005
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The health services are a huge monster. It's near imposible to reform. There is so much to do that it will take years. Co-operation is needed and the first thing that has to be done is get all the health staff on board nurses, consultants etc. Once they commit to the change it will be a lot easier.

The best solution to this is to look at best practise in other courtries who have a better health service. We don't need to try an re invent the wheel here. What we need to do is look at a well run health service in another country and learn from that. Any quick fix solutions will only leave things worse than when things began. Things need to change over a long period with signifigant steps taken at intervals. Meanwhile the money needs to be pumped in until the reforms begin to kick in.

I would be in favour of having two ministers of state in this department because it's such a huge department.
 

Ronanr

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What can we learn from Krugman's article?

One is that even with more PUBLIC money spent on health in the U.S.,the health of the poorer sector of the population there is less than that of France or Canada.

So how the money is spent and how the system is organised is very important.


Also, as Krugman points out, 31 cents out of every dollar the United States spent on health care goes on administrative costs, compared with only 17 cents in Canada.

The Canadian system is basically a centrally run government organised system, in the US healthcare is in the main provided by independednt, often for-profit, concerns.

That would suggest that the market driven US system is doing badly at providing value for money in the health sector.

Perhaps a warning that we here in Ireland should be wary of seeing increased privatisation as a way forward for the health service.
 

Conor

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smiffy said:
Arnó said:
I would be in favour of having two ministers of state in this department because it's such a huge department.
There are two Ministers of State in that department.
Only two?
 


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