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The way Irish hospital waiting lists are presented leaves many questions unanswered

  • Written by Dr McFerret

The Irish health service has published its Winter Plan for the coming six months.

It hopes extra beds and some other measures will help cut public waiting lists.

What a dull read it is, lots of lovely words on the 55 pages, mostly bureaucracy speak.

The document for example talks about ‘Bespoke Integrated Priorities’. Who writes this stuff? Well it’s the HSE managers who run the service and have 900,000 people waiting on public hospital waiting lists.

The funny or not so funny part is that the plan promises extra hospital beds that were promised under previous plans but not delivered.

Actually 543 outstanding hospital beds promised under previous plans are to be put in place, to help get more procedures done.

One of the big problems is that the Irish health service has huge difficulties recruiting and retaining doctors and nurses to staff the planned extra beds.

The bureaucracy is so bad that it takes around 500 days to recruit a new hospital consultant, once the post has been advertised.

The bottom line is that it leaves hundreds of thousands of patients waiting and having to seek alternatives like healthcare abroad.

So no wonder then that the plan has attracted a lot of scepticism.

Previous plans were never fully implemented, so who should expect this one to be any different?

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