A five-month wait for a nursing home bed is no Fair Deal

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on November 7, 2014

Analysis from Irish Independent on 7 November 2014.

Yesterday Minister for Health Leo Varadkar declared his dissatisfaction with the fact that there are over 2,000 older people waiting 15 weeks for nursing home care. And now that the fourfold increase in the numbers of older people waiting for nursing home beds has hit the public radar, Minister Varadkar and Minister for Older People Kathleen Lynch have a “plan”. (more…)

Budget 2015 – a very slight turn in the right direction

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on November 6, 2014

Speaking in the Dáil the day after the Budget, Minister Leo Varadkar said “the gross current budget for the Health Service for 2015 is €13.079 billion. This is equivalent to an increase of €305 million compared to the 2014 allocation of €12.774 million.” (more…)

Time to publish the expert panel report on medical cards

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on October 31, 2014

From the Irish Independent on 31 OCtober 2014

When government parties got hammered in the local and European elections over sick people losing their medical cards they did two things. Uncharacteristically, they admitted some wrongdoing and re-issued 13,300 discretionary medical cards that had been taken away. They also set up an expert panel to advise about how best to allocate medical cards on the basis of medical conditions. (more…)

All things being unequal…

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on October 23, 2014

From the Medical Independent on 23 October 2014
One-in-six (more than 11,000) of all Irish three-year-olds have a long-standing health condition. These are the key findings from a new report from the Institute of Public Health in Ireland, which draws on the rich data in the Growing Up in Ireland cohort study. (more…)

Broadside at medics was unwise – but it was not without basis

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on October 16, 2014

A short analysis in Irish Independent on 16 October 2014.

Once again, Leo Varadkar calls it as he sees it. The Minister for Health, defending the increased allocation to health in Budget 2015, said “one of the biggest differences I’m experiencing between tourism and sport, and health, is that the interest groups in tourism and sport want you to succeed – you’d kind of wonder sometimes if that’s the case in health”. (more…)

Varadkar fails to deliver ‘realistic’ expenditure plan

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on October 15, 2014

Budget 2015 analysis in Irish Independent on 15 October 2014

The fact that further health cuts are not the story of Budget 2015 is an achievement for Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Since taking up post, Varadkar has prioritised securing a “realistic budget for health”. (more…)

Running to stand still

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on October 9, 2014

My column from Medical Independent on 9 October 2014.

Minister Leo Varadkar has admitted that many key health service indicators “are going in the wrong direction”. He must have had sight of the July HSE Performance Report before it was published in the third week in September when he made that point. (more…)

There was absolutely nothing natural about the death of Dhara Kivlehan

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on October 4, 2014

See below column from the Irish Independent on 4 October 2014.

Despite the HSE’s pleas to obscure the verdict at the inquest into the death of Dhara Kivlehan, the jury unanimously found her death was a result of medical misadventure. (more…)

Varadkar should do the right thing and abolish prescription charges

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on September 29, 2014

See below analysis from Irish Independent on 19 September 2014

Leo Varadkar has prioritised getting a realistic budget for health as number one of 10 priorities he wants to achieve within the next 18 months. All 10 priorities make good sense, some of them might even be delivered in the tight timeframe envisaged. (more…)

Irish health reform – ‘incremental change in the fullness of time’….

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on September 25, 2014

From the Medical Independent on 25 September 2014

Just eight weeks after the new Minister, Leo Varadkar, was appointed to health, his Department officials released the briefing documents prepared for him. These reveal the vastness of the Government’s aspirations for health reform, as well as their failure to deliver on all of the Government’s key health commitments. (more…)


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