SaraBurke.com

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.

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Addressing the abortion issue

Posted in Articles by saraburke on December 17, 2015

From the Medical Independent on 17 December 2015

This Government came to power with no intention of legislating on abortion. Its 2011 Programme for Government health section made five commitments under ‘bioethics’. Four of these five commitments promised legislation. On abortion, it carefully avoided any intent on enacting legislation. Irish politicians know the divisiveness of political debates on what are perceived as moral matters. (more…)

Government’s health insurance model is a textbook case of flawed policy making

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on November 18, 2015

Analysis in the Irish Independent on 18 November 2015

This Government promised universal healthcare its 2011 Programme for Government. It said everybody would have free GP care by 2016, and compulsory universal health insurance would start in 2016 and be completed by 2019. (more…)

UHI — another broken promise

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on July 9, 2015

My Medical Independent column from 9 July on on the ESRI costings the government refuses to publish as they are the final nail in the universal health insurance coffin.

In the run-up to election 2011, it was hard to avoid Enda Kenny and his five-point plan — this was the plan that was going to solve all the country’s ills — a country that was in a very bleak place in the midst of an economic and social depression. Number five on the infamous five-point plan was a ‘completely new health system’, the major plank of which was the delivery of universal health insurance (UHI). (more…)

Straight-talking Leo must come clean on UHI cost

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on July 1, 2015

Column from Irish Independent on 1 July 2015.

Health minister Leo Varadkar is known for his straight-talking. But he is not being totally candid in relation to the cost of his own government’s Universal Health Insurance (UHI) policy. He is choosing not to publish detailed costings presented to him on May 21, 2015, which shows the Government’s model is overly expensive.

The ESRI costings, seen by the Irish Independent, reveal that Government’s flagship health project of UHI as promised in the Programme for Government would cost between 3.5pc and 10.7pc more than the current system. Critically, they find that the main drivers of the high costs would be the insurance companies’ profits and the fact that there would be multiple payers for healthcare in the form of competing health insurance companies.

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Radiology debacle shows good-quality healthcare costs, but poor care costs more

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on May 1, 2015

From the Irish Independent on 1 May 2015

On the same day that news broke of three separate reviews of radiology services in three small regional hospitals, the Irish Independent can reveal that a number of patients have had a cancer diagnosis following their recall after an initial colonoscopy test in Wexford General Hospital. And hundreds more patients from Wexford hospital are being recalled for a retest. (more…)

James Reilly cannily rages against the tobacco machine

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on March 24, 2015

Here is op ed from Irish Independent on 24 March 2015 his plain packaging crusade.

James Reilly is pioneering a crusade in Europe against the tobacco industry through the introduction of plain packaging for cigarette packets in Ireland. (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…)

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…)

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…)