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We are failing when people aged 102 are left on trolleys

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on June 10, 2015

Analysis from the Irish Independent on 10 June 2015 on ED over-crowding

Nine weeks after the publication of the Emergency Department Task Force Action Plan and nine years after then-health minister Mary Harney declared A&E overcrowding a ‘national emergency’, some of our oldest citizens are being exposed to ‘forms of torture’ in this country’s Emergency Departments (EDs).
(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…)

The year ahead will be the big test of Leo Varadkar’s mettel as the health minister

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on December 27, 2014

See below for column previewing 2015 from the Irish Independent on 27 December 2014 with misspelled ‘metal’ on line!

The Irish health service starts off 2015 in a better place to where it was a year ago. There are two new, bright, competent, younger men in charge. Leo Varadkar as minister and Jim Breslin as Secretary General in the health department. (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…)

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…)

List of broken promises grow

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on May 22, 2013

Here is my column from Medical Independent, 23 May 2013 (more…)

Waiting for others to die – the only way to get a nursing home bed

Posted in Blog by saraburke on September 2, 2011

HSE figures released today (1 September) reveal that 1,100 older people who are medically in need of a nursing home place and have been through a rigorous financial assessment are languishing on a waiting list for that bed. When the Nursing Home Support Scheme (the so-called Fair Deal) was launched less than two years ago it was heralded as “accessible, affordable and anxiety free”. Obviously it is proving to be none of these (it is not accessible for those on the waiting list, it is not affordable for the State as it as run out of money and it is not anxiety free for the older people and their families who wait for a nursing home bed) so what does the Fair Deal waiting list mean for those on it and why is there a waiting list?  (more…)