Doctors: Health service crisis as big as the financial meltdown

Doctors: Health service crisis as big as the financial meltdown

Doctors say the next Government is facing an unprecedented crisis in the health service.

Dr Ray Walley, the president of the Irish Medical Organisation, says fixing the health system is as big a challenge for the next Government as the financial meltdown that faced the last administration.

The IMO is calling on politicians to put health first by investing in services.

Dr Walley said: "Our familiarity with the problems in our health services have blinded us to how serious the issues have become."

He warned that years of cutbacks in essential services, a manpower crisis fuelled by record emigration of Irish trained doctors and a 10-year long "national emergency" in our Emergency Departments had left the public health services perilously close to collapse and in urgent need of emergency attention.

Dr Walley said: "Five years ago we moved heaven and earth to rescue failed Irish banks; surely we can now do the same to rescue the Irish health service on which all of us ultimately depend."

The IMO's key message is:

INVEST: Commit to realistic health funding

INCREASE: Numbers of beds, services and doctors

IMPROVE: Patient experiences and health outcomes

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