Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ireland- Eamon OCuiv breaks with Government policy as HSE lurches from crisis to crisis

Speaking on Newstalk Government Minister Eamon O Cuiv has described the Health Service Executive as an "impossible organisation to deal with".
Yesterday the Taoiseach said it must control its overspending.
The HSE is over budget by more than 200 million euro already this year and is now admitting that its recruitment freeze has led to a number of procedures being cancelled, despite assurances that the move would not affect patient services.

Eamon O Cuiv was a member of the FF/PD Government which set up the HSE. At its launch we were promised a streamlined and efficient health service- fit for the 21st century. The HSE has developed into a bureaucratic monster gobbling up tax payers money. Pressure is increasing on front line staff such as doctors and nurses as administration eats up available funds. Waiting lists are stubbornly high.
The HSE is an unmitigated disaster. It was established to shield the Government from unpalatable decisions such as the closing and down grading of hospitals. When hospitals are downgraded FF TDs blame the HSE. The HSE is an agent of the state and is implementing FF/PD/Green party policy on health by stealth. Eamon OCuiv wishes to have his cake and eat it. If he disagrees fundamentally from Government policy he should resign from the cabinet. Is he suggesting that the Health Boards should be re-established?
The Health Boards had defects but they served as a useful vehicle for the articulation of local concerns on health. They have been replaced by an even bigger bureaucratic monster.
Richard Bruton TD of Fine Gael is correct when he compares the HSE to bureaucracies prevalent in Marxist countries.

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