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Government’s life-time community rating is propping up the two-tier health system that they promised to dismantle

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on March 13, 2015

Column from Irish Independent on 13 March 2015

The central plank of this Government’s ‘democratic revolution’ for health was to develop a ‘universal, single-tiered health service, which guarantees access based on need, not income’. This was to be achieved by giving free GP care for all by early 2016 and rolling out universal health insurance in 2016. (more…)

The cost of saving lives

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on March 5, 2015

Here is column from Medical Independent from 5 March on implications of paying for Soliris.

This HSE decision to cover Soliris, one of the most expensive drugs in the world, under the public health schemes, raises important ethical considerations. This drug, which costs €430,000 per person per year, will now be available to about seven patients with a very rare blood disorder. (more…)

To live longer, healthier lives require very different health and public policies

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on March 3, 2015

Column from the Irish Independent on 3 March 2015

So what would it take for Ireland to be the best little country in the world to be healthy in?

For a start, it would take all of us being more healthy, not just exercising more but eating less processed food and more home-cooked, fresh food; drinking much less alcohol; not smoking; looking after our mental health; being more caring of ourselves and each other. (more…)

An election crisis in waiting

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on February 19, 2015

My column from the Medical Independent on 19 February 2015

Extensive overcrowding in emergency departments and in our public hospitals continues to dominate the public and political radar in the early weeks and months of 2015. It is evident that there are continued high numbers on trolleys and in delayed discharges. (more…)

Q&A on the Fair Deal

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on February 13, 2015

From the Irish Independent on 13 February 2015

What is the Fair Deal?

It is the Nursing Home Support Scheme (NHSS) which funds residential nursing home care for older people. It is administered by the HSE. Latest figures show there were 22,618 people funded under this scheme in November 2014. People can choose public, private or voluntary nursing homes under the NHSS. (more…)

Good for Leo, good for Ireland

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on February 5, 2015

See here column from the Medical Independent on 5 February 2015

Nobody should have to media-manage going public over their sexual orientation. And it should not be headline news that a minister is gay. Unfortunately, both are still the reality in Ireland in 2015. (more…)

Varadkar’s ‘priorities’ are bland, unambitious and confused

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on January 27, 2015

A column from the Irish Independent on 27 January 2015.
On the same day that news broke of another investigation into deficiencies in care in a maternity unit in an Irish hospital – including the deaths of two newborn babies – health ministers Leo Varadkar and Kathleen Lynch launched their ‘priority areas’. (more…)

At the root of the problem

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on January 22, 2015

See below column from Medical Independent on 22 January 2015

As the numbers of people on trolleys in emergency departments reached a record high in the first week of January, there was much commentary on the causes and consequences of so many people waiting too long on trolleys. (more…)

Less politics, more effort is needed to solve hospital crisis

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on January 16, 2015

Analysis from Irish Independent on 16 January 2015.

At yesterday’s health committee, both Health Minister Leo Varadkar and HSE boss Tony O’Brien were very keen to make it quite clear that they were throwing the kitchen sink at solving the over-crowding in our hospitals (Picture: Arthur Carron)
At yesterday’s health committee, both Health Minister Leo Varadkar and HSE boss Tony O’Brien were very keen to make it quite clear that they were throwing the kitchen sink at solving the over-crowding in our hospitals (Picture: Arthur Carron)
At yesterday’s health committee, both Health Minister Leo Varadkar and HSE boss Tony O’Brien were very keen to make it quite clear that they were throwing the kitchen sink at solving the over-crowding in our hospitals. (more…)

Hospital crisis requires true leadership and prompt action

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on January 7, 2015

Analysis from Irish Independent on ED crisis from 7 January 2015

So where is Leo Varadkar when he is most needed? As the numbers of very sick people on trolleys hit a record high and hospitals went into full meltdown in the first week in January, Mr Varadkar was uncharacteristically nowhere to be seen or heard. (more…)

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