Two steps that would ease the crisis in our health service
Columnist Lorraine Courtney asks “Where are the intensive care beds we need to get Covid under control?” (Irish Independent, October 26). This is a very interesting question in light of the information contained in the annual publication of the Department of Health, Health in Ireland (2019 edition), highlighted by Sean Barrett in his excellent article of September 15 (“Ireland’s health system is not as underfunded, understaffed or under- resources as we think ”, Irish Independent, September 15), which shows that the country has the third highest share of GDP / GBI spent on health in the OECD, surpassed only by Switzerland and the United States.
The report adds that Ireland has more doctors, nurses and beds per 1,000 people than most other countries. Yet although near the top for spending, we’re near the bottom for service.
All of this seems to lead to the conclusion that the lack of service is not due to a lack of resources but to a totally inadequate management of the available resources. I have tried several times to emphasize this point by referring to the occupancy of the beds of patients awaiting examinations and x-rays while the hours for these services remain from 8.45 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and I I was informed of this by the then Minister of Health, Simon Harris. that there were no plans to increase these hours. Another cause of unnecessary bed occupancy is the lack of services that would allow people to stay in their homes. Action on these two issues would ensure that only people requiring hospitalization would occupy beds and would be reduce health care costs.
Is it too much to hope that we can hope for an improvement in the supply of emergency health services, knowing that money is not the only or the most urgent response? Whenever additional billions are donated to HSE, they seem to disappear into a black hole. People deserve more – and so do health workers – than constantly spending money on the problem instead of being properly monitored by those responsible.
Ardeskin, Town of Donegal
Successive ministers have no idea of the problems
FRANK SCHNITTGER is yet another voice (in the wilderness) on the never-ending housing crisis (“Tax on vacant properties could solve housing crisis”, Letters, October 27). If only that was the real reason for the failure of the three firms since 2011.
I am completely lost in trying to understand the state of mind of an Irish government minister on housing – a basic human requirement.
It would appear that every member of every Irish cabinet since 2011 had no idea one iota outside of their own department, which then begs the question of why they deserve to be in office.
If Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are so obtuse on housing, they will be in power six months after the next election before realizing that Sinn Féin is the government.
GDPR? We need a referendum to unmask online trolls
THE government has found it easy to introduce GDPR, which has likely been more disturbing to older people than Covid, and has also curbed whistleblowing, reducing the natural tendency to advocate for others. Socially, a goal against him.
Compare this action with the impossibility of organizing a referendum to enforce, legally, a traceable identity to be attached to all publications on social networks.
Such a referendum should be a top priority for all parties.
Ownership of the new maternity site is key
The State will take control of the new National Motherhood for 299 years under new proposals to finally settle the dispute over its governance. However, this proposal is fundamentally short of what the Irish public interest demands: for the state to buy the Elm Park site.
Ownership of the site has been transferred from the original owners, the Sisters of Charity, to St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group, which categorically states that it must retain ownership “for clinical, governance and operational reasons”.
Clearly, St Vincent‘s Healthcare Group realizes the value of outright property – a fact the state does not understand.
The dispute is presented as a dispute over the length of the proposed lease. Whether the lease is 149 or 299 years is largely irrelevant. Ownership of the site on which the state is building the new 800 million euros National Maternity Hospital is the real issue and cannot and should not be swept under the carpet.
In these new proposals, nothing substantial changes.
Malahide, County Dublin