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The opportunity to make real progress in meeting our needs was missed

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on October 12, 2016

Analysis of Budget 2017 from the Irish Independent on 12 October 2016

We know that increased spending on healthcare is top of all the things Irish citizens wanted from Budget 2017, way ahead of tax cuts, a first-time buyers’ grant or increasing the pension. Interestingly, Fine Gael voters, wealthy people and those over 50 wanted most spending on healthcare. (more…)

Simon Harris destined for failure with inept plan to tackle waiting lists

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on August 10, 2016

Analysis in the Irish Independent on 10 August 2016

As record numbers of people – more than half a million – wait for diagnosis and treatment, Health Minister Simon Harris has come up with ‘five specific actions’ to reduce hospital waiting lists. (more…)

Now is the time to act to ensure safe staffing of our maternity units

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on June 4, 2016

Analysis from the Irish Independent 4 June 2016

Over one year since Hiqa published its damning report into five baby deaths in Portlaoise hospital, news emerged of the death of one new-born baby in Cavan hospital, and the death of another baby after an emergency C-section. (more…)

Pitfalls of predecessors a danger for positive Harris

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on May 14, 2016

Opinion piece from Irish Independent on 14 June 2016
Being Minister for Health is a big, important job and Simon Harris has got off to a good start. In his first interview in the post, he specified that he wanted to take party politics out of health. (more…)

Why do we get major health infrastructure projects so wrong?

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on April 29, 2016

Irish Independent column from 29 April 2016

It is good news that the National Children’s Hospital has got the go-ahead to be built. Construction is due to start this summer, and they say it will be open by 2020. At long last.

(more…)

Shoddy proposals and pet demands – a new low for Ireland’s health policy

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on April 14, 2016

My analysis from the Irish Independent on 14 April 2016

Repeated surveys show that the state of our health system is the people’s number one concern. Yet Fine Gael’s health proposals (covered in previous articles) are very weak while health gets barely three pages in Fianna Fáil’s ‘Priorities for Government’ document. (more…)

The Fine Gael foundation document fails to provide a clear vision for a fair health service

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on April 9, 2016

Analysis from the Irish Independent on 9 April 2016

It seems like the drafters of Fine Gael’s ‘foundation document’ presented to Independent TDs last Tuesday live in a different world to most of us mere mortals. A cursory read of the health section would lead you to believe that we lived in a country with a decent health service. (more…)

Reilly’s time in Health was tough but the difficulties were of his own making

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on March 2, 2016

From the Irish Independent on 02/03/2016
James Reilly reckons the Government will be “remembered for turning the country around”. Speaking from the count centre on Sunday after losing his seat in the Dublin Fingal constituency, the former Health Minister used a medical metaphor to assess Fine Gael and Labour’s time in government: “The operation was a success, but the patient is still in a lot of pain.” (more…)

Quality, accessible healthcare is what voters really want

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on February 22, 2016

From the Irish Independent on 22/02/2016

This General Election demonstrates the gaping disconnect between the Irish people and our politicians. In polls, citizens repeatedly state that their primary concern is health – yet it is crime, ‘fiscal space’ and the make-up of the next government that dominate the campaign. (more…)

Groundhog Day for patients as ‘national emergency’ still drags on 10 years later

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on January 8, 2016

From the Irish Independent on 08/01/2016

It’s Groundhog Day for the thousands of patients left waiting in our country’s emergency departments this week. There is a slight improvement, year on year, on numbers presenting to EDs and needing admission to hospital in the last few weeks. But the numbers are way too high and nowhere near where Minister Leo Varadkar wanted them weeks ahead of the next general election.

(more…)