Haddington Road savings used to mop up increased demand and cut backs

Posted in Articles by saraburke on May 1, 2014

See here Medical Independent column from 1 May 2014 (more…)

Further disability cuts are inexcusable

Posted in Blog by saraburke on December 9, 2013

As budget overruns continue throughout the HSE, the most vulnerable citizens have once again been targeted, but how much more can service users take. My Medical Independent column from 12 September 2013. (more…)

Reasons to be hopeful for health in 2011…

Posted in Blog by saraburke on December 30, 2010

Despite the hefty cut to the health budget in the year ahead, the HSE Service Plan launched in Christmas week provides some rare optimism for 2011.


4,500 Dublin hospital staff to strike on ‘outsourcing’

Posted in Blog by saraburke on March 18, 2010

This week public sector unions are back into talks with the government. Yet Siptu is planning a 48 hour all out strike action on 7th April in seven Dublin hospitals. So what is going on? At the centre of this industrial action is ‘outsourcing’. Outsourcing is the jargon used to describe the privatising of services which have been traditionally carried out by public sector workers in public services. (more…)


My fantasy health budget

Posted in Blog by saraburke on November 19, 2009

The week began with Mary Harney saying that she and her Department are “looking at everything in the health service” in terms of cuts. That for the first time they “are looking at prescription charges, that a 50 cent charge may be imposed per item prescribed”. Instead of hitting the poor and the sick, here are some other political and economic choices that can be made… (more…)

Studies find dental fraud may cost State €8m

Posted in Articles by saraburke on October 21, 2009

This article by me appeared in the health supplement in the IRish TImes on 20 October 2009

FRAUDULENT AND inappropriate claims by dentists participating in the publicly-funded Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) could cost at least €8 million this year.

Senior officials in the Department of Health and the HSE are aware of the potential savings from these claims but have not put the required checks in place to stop privately practising dentists wrongly or over-claiming from this scheme.

A series of unpublished reports commissioned by the Department of Health and the HSE, which detail the extent of inappropriate and fraudulent payments in the system, has been seen by The Irish Times.

The free dental scheme for adults available to medical card holders came to the attention of senior health officials due to the significant extra demand on it during the first eight months of this year. (more…)