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The Fine Gael foundation document fails to provide a clear vision for a fair health service

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on April 9, 2016

Analysis from the Irish Independent on 9 April 2016

It seems like the drafters of Fine Gael’s ‘foundation document’ presented to Independent TDs last Tuesday live in a different world to most of us mere mortals. A cursory read of the health section would lead you to believe that we lived in a country with a decent health service. (more…)

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…)

Hard choices to be made in the political parlour

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on July 9, 2015

Column from Irish Independent on 8 July 2015.

Game on for Budget 2016, with the impending general election in sight. Last Friday, Tánaiste Joan Burton warned interest groups at the Social Protection forum in Dublin Castle that “the Budget isn’t a parlour game in which everybody puts out what they would like”.

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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…)

Q&A on the Fair Deal

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on February 13, 2015

From the Irish Independent on 13 February 2015

What is the Fair Deal?

It is the Nursing Home Support Scheme (NHSS) which funds residential nursing home care for older people. It is administered by the HSE. Latest figures show there were 22,618 people funded under this scheme in November 2014. People can choose public, private or voluntary nursing homes under the NHSS. (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…)

A five-month wait for a nursing home bed is no Fair Deal

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on November 7, 2014

Analysis from Irish Independent on 7 November 2014.

Yesterday Minister for Health Leo Varadkar declared his dissatisfaction with the fact that there are over 2,000 older people waiting 15 weeks for nursing home care. And now that the fourfold increase in the numbers of older people waiting for nursing home beds has hit the public radar, Minister Varadkar and Minister for Older People Kathleen Lynch have a “plan”. (more…)

Radio bluff exposes how little Enda knows about health

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on September 15, 2014

Opinion from the Irish Independent on 13 September 2014

Enda Kenny gets most of the sound bites right when it comes to government health policy. He repeatedly mentioned “keeping patients at the centre” and the “need to reform” in his interview with Cathal MacCoille on yesterday’s ‘Morning Ireland’.

But the minute the Taoiseach is probed in any detail on health matters, he flounders and his utter lack of understanding is revealed. (more…)

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…)

A speech not of ‘national importance’

Posted in Blog by saraburke on February 27, 2014

Reductions in waiting lists achieved by throwing resources at the problem is not a sustainable solution. Here is my Medical Independent column from 20 February 2014. 

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