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

Approach to health reform must be comprehensive not piecemeal

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] A probably apocryphal story is told about a country which had been decolonised following a long association with the UK and decided as a symbol of its independence that it would move from having all the traffic driving on the left British-style to driving on the right … Continue reading

Generic drugs, pharmaceuticals, reform of the health service.

[Speaking on the Health (Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) Bill 2013] … I speak from the perspective of having worked in the health service. The issue of drugs is deadly simple. The Government should pass a law to make it mandatory to use generic drugs unless there is a specific doctor-ordered exception to the rule, … Continue reading

Ireland has the worst managed healthcare system in the developed world

Health Care Reform

While Ireland does not have the worst quality of healthcare, it is run by technically deficient, medically illiterate bureaucrats, says Professor John Crown. What healthcare model should we be looking to? AS IT IS currently structured, the Irish healthcare system ensures that people spend an inordinate amount of time not being treated for what ails … Continue reading

Health Service Executive (Governance) Bill

I was asked in public last week whether I would have voted to express confidence in the Minister last weekend had I had the opportunity to do so; I state unambiguously that I would have done so. The Minister inherited a very difficult job in very difficult circumstances. He set his face into the wind … Continue reading

The economic advantages to be gained through reform of the health system

Health Care Reform

I wish to talk about sin. The capital sin in a recession is not the spending of money, it is the wasting of money. A hugely wasteful spend is occurring in our health service right now. Figures emerged last week that showed 350,000 Irish citizens on some type of waiting list for hospital care. When … Continue reading

Call for a debate on health policy reform

This should not be another of the very worthy but piecemeal debates we have had on individual pieces of legislation, which could be broadly construed as part of an overall agenda for reform, but I believe they are not. The fundamentals of reform of our health system were contained in the programme for Government synthesised … Continue reading

Restriction of Choice of Hospital for Public Patients

I would like .. to seek clarification from the Minister for Health on two issues, the first of which relates to an emerging policy of public patients being stripped of their choice of public hospital. That is occurring in this country. It has serious implications for many citizens who would like aspects of their care … Continue reading

Availability of Cancer Drugs

I seek clarification from the Minister for Health on …. whether there has been a change in the process for deciding what anti-cancer drugs will be made available through the health service. Good research shows that countries which underspend on cancer drugs have inferior cancer outcomes. A famous study carried out by the Karolinska Institute … Continue reading

Shortages in the Health System

Will the Leader seek clarification from the Minister for Health regarding his exact plans for increasing the number of specialists, beds and operating theatres? At the risk of sounding trite, there is a wonderful line in “Jurassic Park” from the scientist who correctly predicted that it might be unwise to make dinosaurs. When they saw … Continue reading