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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…)

Radio bluff exposes how little Enda knows about health

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on September 15, 2014

Opinion from the Irish Independent on 13 September 2014

Enda Kenny gets most of the sound bites right when it comes to government health policy. He repeatedly mentioned “keeping patients at the centre” and the “need to reform” in his interview with Cathal MacCoille on yesterday’s ‘Morning Ireland’.

But the minute the Taoiseach is probed in any detail on health matters, he flounders and his utter lack of understanding is revealed. (more…)

An insurance reform roadmap

Posted in Articles by saraburke on January 27, 2014

If implemented, the recommendations of the report into the cost of private health insurance would make a difference to the Minister’s plans for universal care. Column from Medical Independent on 23 January 2014. (more…)

James Reilly’s well paid advisors

Posted in Blog by saraburke on February 26, 2012

James Reilly, Minister for Health is over  his quota of ministerial advisors and without any specific expertise in his priority area of health reform – universal health insurance… (more…)

Reilly’ rejects HSE 2012 Service Plan: pure optics and a damage limitation exercise

Posted in Blog by saraburke on January 6, 2012

Having received a hammering from the print media over the holiday period, Minister James Reilly took a media offensive on 5  January 2012 on  RTE Radio with appearances on the Pat Kenny show and an interview with Fergal Bowers on the News at One. In my opinion, these media appearances were a combination of damage limitation and pure optics… (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…)

Uphill struggle ahead as Reilly finishes first term in health

Posted in Blog by saraburke on July 29, 2011

As the political season ends and James Reilly gives an upbeat speech to the MacGill summer school, immense challenges face him now and when the autumn season begins… (more…)

Consultants excluded from 15% voluntary pay cut….

Posted in Blog by saraburke on June 25, 2011

It was reported in the Irish Times (24 June 2011) that hospital consultants and or their representative bodies lobbied the minister for health, James Reilly, so as not to be included in the 15% voluntary pay waiver announced by Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform on Wednesday last (22 June 2011). This was refuted by both a spokesperson for the Minister of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (known as PER). So why are consultants excluded and who earns what in the public health system?

(more…)

Reilly takes on the pharmacists

Posted in Blog by saraburke on April 1, 2011

Late on the afternoon the day the long awaited bank stress tests were published (31 March), Minister Reilly took on his first public battle announcing further cuts to fees paid to pharmacists. Under the 2009 Financial Emergency Measures Act, the minister has the right to do this – and previous cuts under Mary Harney results in the pharmacy strike in summer 2009. So these cuts are on top of cuts ready made and seem quite a bold, political move just three weeks into office. (more…)

Mary Harney did great harm to Irish health

Posted in Articles by saraburke on January 21, 2011

See here for article on this in today’s Irish Times or below for unedited version.. (more…)