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Consultants' association: HSE being driven by Troika demands, not patient welfare

The president of the IHCA also said that the HSE’s “unsympathetic” traits have led to action like the junior doctors’ strike which has created tensions among the ranks.
Oct 12th 2013, 5:43 PM 5,685 45

THE PRESIDENT OF the Irish Hospital Consultants’ Association (IHCA) has said that the HSE is “being driven by Troika demands and budgetary constraints, not by patient welfare and safety”.

Denis Evoy was speaking at the association’s annual conference today in Kildare. He told the conference that economic factors have resulted in an Irish government that is “set on running a health service on declining annual budgets rather than encouraging excellence across the system and making patients the priority.

“The HSE can be very unsympathetic and stubborn, character traits that can demoralise a work force or radicalise a work force as we saw last Tuesday,” Evoy said, referring to the recent strike by junior doctors. “The minister for health must take responsibility for the 30 per cent pay-cut for new entrants which has fundamentally changed the medical landscape and has created tensions amongst our ranks.”

Evoy commented that servicing the 28 Emergency Departments across the country is “simply not sustainable”.

Recuitment

The association’s president said that recruitment was the key, with numbers of vacant posts increasing while the number of people looking to use the health system has also risen “dramatically”.

“There are an extra 230,000 patients going through the doors of our hospitals since 2007 with far less resource,” he commented. “We have seen more patients in our public hospitals, due to an increase in births, people can no longer afford private health insurance, and an ageing population.”

Ultimately this process will end in abject failure as under resourced systems fail with desperate and painful consequences to both patients and physicians. And it will be us, the doctors who will be held responsible by the courts and the Medical Council. Held responsible, for unacceptable outcomes, that lack of resource, poor systems, and sub-optimal recruitment will have helped engineer.

“There have been too many incidents in our hospitals, where patients have suffered because of these circumstances,” he added. “This is not good enough.”

Read: Strike action by junior doctors begins today>

Video: Junior doctors explain the reasons behind today’s strike>

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Michelle Hennessy

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