Health chiefs hit out at management 'rhetoric'

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) today called for realism not rhetoric in reform of the health service.

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) today called for realism not rhetoric in reform of the health service.

As the group’s annual conference begins, IMO chiefs accused management in the Health Service Executive of a lack of transparency when it comes to high level decision making.

And they called on the HSE to agree to a partnership process recognising the need for constructive and meaningful engagement with the medical profession.

IMO president Dr Christine O’Malley also warned that while plans for reform should be praised there was still a problem with a lack of resources.

“The much talked about reform of the health service has been laudable but very aspirational and it has prevented the making of appropriate arrangements for particular elements of the health service,” she said.

“The real problems that patients face are the lack of infrastructure and the lack of resources.

Blaming individual doctors for the inevitable results of a failing system is masking the real problems within the health service.”

At the four-day conference in Killarney, Co Kerry a wide range of motions are to be discussed including one deploring the centralisation of authority.

Other motions call for:

1. The Taoiseach to bring about an inter-departmental response to the high rates of suicide.

2. A graduated licensing system for new drivers.

3. An increase in the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes by 2 euro in the 2008 budget.

3. A moratorium on the sale and growing of genetically engineered crops in Ireland.

3. State funding to be refused to sporting organisations who accept sponsorship from alcohol companies.

4. A new inspectorate working to uniform standards to ensure highest quality of care for people in nursing homes.

5. Regional sexually transmitted disease clinics.

6. Delivery of 200,000 additional full medical cards and honouring of the commitment to provide 200,000 doctor only cards.

7. A properly resourced plan to tackle hospital acquired infections and recognition that overcrowding and excessive bed occupancy rates contributes to cross infection.

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