Taoiseach, make this the best little country in the world for people with disabilities

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on December 11, 2014

My take on the abuse in Aras Attracta as detailed by the RTE Investigations Unit in Irish Independent on 11 December 2014.

The HSE reacted promptly and with apparent gravity to the abuse in Aras Attracta, exposed by RTE’s ‘Prime Time’ programme, once it was made aware of it. (more…)

Hospitals need to learn from the cases of Sally and Dhara to prevent future deaths

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on December 9, 2014

Analysis from the Irish Independent on 9 December 2014 on the death of Sally Rowlette.

The HSE’s only investigation into the death of Sally Rowlette did not identify the failures in the care she received. This is in direct contrast to the finding of Dr Peter Boylan, the independent expert witness at the coroner’s inquest into Sally’s death. (more…)

Susie Long’s legacy lives on, seven years on

Posted in colonoscopy, diagnostics, Irish Cancer Society, Joe Duffy, Susie Long, unequal access by saraburke on December 4, 2014

My column from the Medical Independent on 4 December 2014 on unequal access to essential diagnostics

Seven years after her death, a brand new palliative care unit opened last month in St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny, funded in her name and honour by the Susie Long Hospice Fund. In the same month, GP Edel McGinnity expressed concern about one of her patients who had to wait eight months for an essential scan to diagnose kidney cancer. (more…)

A good service plan for 2015

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on November 28, 2014

My analysis of 2015 HSE Service Plan from Irish Independent on 28 November 2014.

The sense of relief was palpable at yesterday’s launch of the HSE’s 2015 Service Plan. HSE chief Tony O’Brien was flanked by ministers Leo Varadkar and Kathleen Lynch. There was no smugness or back slapping, instead a sober acknowledgement of the “welcome but modest” increase to the health budget for the year ahead. (more…)

My analysis government’s failure in the setting up of the HSE and Irish Water

From the Irish Independent on 22 November 2014.

So the Government established a new national entity to “use the resources available in the most beneficial, effective and efficient manner to improve, promote and protect the health of the public’. To do so, they were going to “invest in infrastructure . . . by rationalising . . . services to reduce fragmentation . . . by establishing a single entity . . . to manage… services”. (more…)

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…)


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