Health Reform

[Speaking in the Seanad during a Fianna Fail Private Members Motion on Health Services] Again, I welcome the Minister. He is a young man and is about the same age as I was when I first became a consultant oncologist in Ireland’s medical service. I was full of enthusiasm and optimism and thought a problem … Continue reading

Health bureaucrats are architects of a new brand of ‘apartheid’

Published in the Sunday Independent on 17th August, 2008 Under recent plans, private patients are whites and public patients ‘Kaffirs’. The most chilling, the most horrifying movie that I ever saw was a docudrama set entirely in a boardroom. There was no blood, no gore, no decapitations, in fact no shocks at all. Rather, there … Continue reading

Even my kids deny their dad’s a doctor

Published in the Sunday Independent on 10th February 2008 John Crown laments the greedy reputation consultants gained in the marathon contract negotiations There have been recent welcome signs of an emerging debate on the need for true and fundamental reform of the healthcare system. Leading economists from both right and left, the Fine Gael and … Continue reading

A year of despair, where pleas for solutions fell on deaf ears

Published in the Sunday Independent on 30th December, 2007 John Crown reflects on what has been a disastrous 12 months for our health service The year 2007 was truly an annus horribilis in the Irish health service. Bad news abounded. The nostalgic may hanker after the carefree innocent days of spring when, according to the … Continue reading

A System Truly Sickening

Published in Business & Finance, 15 June, 2007 Too often healthcare is seen as something necessary but undesirable – like social welfare. Meanwhile, people suffer and die. There was a strange irony in the recent election. Mary Harney, a politician with an impeccable small-government, low-tax reputation, went to the country defending her record, which consisted … Continue reading

Consultants must welcome these new jobs

Published in the Sunday Independent 22 April, 2007 I BELIEVE that my colleagues in the Irish Hospital Consultants Association and the Irish Medical Organisation will be making a truly historic mistake if they elect not to co-operate with the appointments process for the recently advertised consultant posts. It was both reasonable and responsible for these … Continue reading

Silencing the doctors will harm patients

Published in the Sunday Independent, 11 February, 2007 IN THE current climate, any senior medical specialist who expresses reservations about the patient care implications of any aspect of Health Minister Mary Harney’s proposed new consultant contract will be accused of obscuring financial self-interest behind a smokescreen of public advocacy. Despite this, I hope that commentators … Continue reading