Health system has tried to do more with less but it simply can’t take any more cuts

Posted in Articles by saraburke on April 11, 2014

Here is article I wrote for the Irish Independent on some of the key findings from the Resilience project. This is work I am doing with Prof Steve Thomas and Dr Sarah Barry in the Centre for Health Policy and Management in Trinity College Dublin. More info here . (more…)

Cuts threaten patient safety

Posted in Blog by saraburke on March 21, 2014

Fewer nurses caring for more patients increases likelihood of death, see here for column from Medical Independent from 21 March 2014.  (more…)

Is the emperor naked (are there really 222 primary care teams)?

Posted in Blog by saraburke on February 25, 2010

Over eight years on from the launch of the primary care strategy, there are 222 teams in place. They are where 90-95% of health care needs can be met and Brendan Drumm’s pet project. So what do these teams actually do? Do they really exist? And how widespread are they? (more…)


What are the Greens up to?

Posted in Blog by saraburke on October 9, 2009

As the Green party team are deep in negotiation with Fianna Fáil over a new Programme for Government, one of their policy demands is a one tiered universal health system. What on earth are they at?

The policy demand of a one tiered universal health system was part of the leaked ‘early draft of a discussion document’ to the media. They are v cross about the leak. The Green party are refusing to comment on any content of the negotiations, as they don’t want to discuss deliberations in public. But they are not denying that it is in there either and referred me back to their health policy document. So what are the implications of this demand? (more…)

Flu pandemic well-managed so far…

Posted in Blog by saraburke on September 4, 2009

This item was also covered on yesterday’s Drivetime:

This summer was certainly not silly season for health service managers. Between the pharmacy dispute and the flu pandemic, there was no down time for many in the HSE and the Dept of Health. Not to mention the withdrawal of acute and cancer services from Monaghan and Sligo hospitals.

From my perspective, so far it has been well managed. From the beginning there has been, regular, very good, public communication from Dept of Health’s CMO Tony Hollohan and more recently from the HSE’s, Director and Assistant Director of Public Health, Pat Doorley and Kevin Kelleher.

They have each got better with their media communications giving clear information in a non panicky manner about how to prevent and deal with the flu, on sending the kids back to school, giving sensitive information on the deaths to date. (more…)