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Without clear health reform plans, we need sustained improvements on access to quality health and social care

Posted in Articles by saraburke on December 19, 2015

From the Irish Independent on 19 December 2015

This week, there were more health headlines, emanating from a frank interview with HSE chief Tony O’Brien, the deferral of the INMO nurses’ strike action in emergency departments and the publication of the HSE 2016 service plan. (more…)

PAC-ing a punch on HSE spending

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on November 5, 2015

Medical Independent column from 5 November 2015

Last month, HSE Director General Mr Tony O’Brien made his last appearance before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as the person with ultimate accountability for the health budget. This is because responsibility for the health budget was transferred from the HSE back to the Department of Health on 1 January 2015. (more…)

Varadkar won’t fix issues in health service by ‘making heads roll’

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on September 30, 2015

From the Irish Independent on 30 September 2015

Leo Varadkar tends to be as straight-talking in his emails and texts as he is in person. In an email on September 4 sent to his adviser Brian Murphy, and copied to three senior HSE managers including HSE boss Tony O’Brien, Mr Varadkar made it perfectly clear that he wants a HSE head to roll if there are not tangible improvements in our overcrowded emergency departments.

(more…)

HSE and HIQA must ensure it’s safe to give birth in all Irish maternity units

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on March 31, 2015

Op ed from the Irish Independent on 31 March 2015 on the ugly spat between HIQA and the HSE  (more…)

Hospital crisis requires true leadership and prompt action

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on January 7, 2015

Analysis from Irish Independent on ED crisis from 7 January 2015

So where is Leo Varadkar when he is most needed? As the numbers of very sick people on trolleys hit a record high and hospitals went into full meltdown in the first week in January, Mr Varadkar was uncharacteristically nowhere to be seen or heard. (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…)

Taoiseach, make this the best little country in the world for people with disabilities

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on December 11, 2014

My take on the abuse in Aras Attracta as detailed by the RTE Investigations Unit in Irish Independent on 11 December 2014.

The HSE reacted promptly and with apparent gravity to the abuse in Aras Attracta, exposed by RTE’s ‘Prime Time’ programme, once it was made aware of it. (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…)

Why being €300m over budget out of a total of €13bn may actually be a success

Posted in Articles by saraburke on June 13, 2014

Analysis from the Irish Independent from 13 June 2014 on a hot-headed John McGuinness, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) call for the resignation of the HSE director general, Tony O’Brien and Secretary General of the Department of Health, Ambrose McLoughlin, on the basis that they are not fit for purpose. (more…)

Hospitals at the edge…

Posted in Articles by saraburke on December 9, 2013

The CEOs of four Dublin hospitals made valid points about health cuts but went about it the wrong way. See column from 21 November 2013.  (more…)