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.
The 4 year National Recovery Plan outlines budget cuts for health totalling €1.4 billion, 6,000 fewer staff in the public health system and patients having to pay more for essential health care. So how painful will it be in the years ahead for the health services? And will the policy aspirations actually happen given the inevitability of a change of government…
This week the HSE started vaccinating first year students in 20 schools around the country with the HPV vaccine. The HPV vaccine is part of a national programme to prevent cervical cancer. Recommended by HIQA the introduction of this virus the minister oked it and then withdrew it and then reannounced it. So what’s happening… (more…)
So said President Obama on Tuesday as he signed into law his new health insurance reforms. He said it was “vindication of the American dream“. The video of the White House signing of the law is a good watch but does Obama really deliver his promise of health care for all, or even health insurance cover for all? (more…)
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…)
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…)
The health section of the new Programme For Government has been called ‘all Fianna Fail’. But it is not all Fianna Fail, it’s all PD, with a few minor Green hints in it. It is PD health policy reflecting that we have had a PD minister for health for the last five years.
I presume the health section was written in its entirety by Oliver O’Conner who is Harney’s advisor in health. There are few new commitments in it, no costings, but there is no need for costings as there is little extra in it.
The leaked document by Irish Times’ Stephen Collins said the Greens were looking for a one tiered universal health system. And what did we get? The intro to the Renewed Programme for Government under health says “We will take further progressive, detailed steps towards building universal health services that provide high-quality care, fair access and affordability for all.” This is a far call from a commitment to introducing universal, one tiered, free care for all. More detail on the ‘Renewed Programme for Government’ here including colocation, cancer services, screening and vaccine, mental health and the Resource Allocation Working Group … (more…)
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…)