Roots of the A&E crisis can be traced back to Haughey government of the late 1980s

THE report by UK healthcare consultants Tribal Secta stating that the A&E system is not in crisis is, frankly, a load of rubbish.

Do they not know that 500 people were on hospital trolleys on some nights recently?

!&!!Unfortunately, some of the pro-FF/PD media have taken the report as gospel and, in tandem with Health Minister Mary Harney, will use it as a stick with which to beat our hard-working doctors and nurses and other healthcare workers.

The root cause of the current crisis in the A&E system and the health service generally is the savage cuts inflicted in the late 1980s by the then Minister for Health, Dr Rory O’Hanlon, under instructions from the then Minister for Finance, Ray MacSharry, in the government led by the then Taoiseach, Charles Haughey. The health service has never recovered from those cutbacks. Of course, the report is right to call for more after-hours GP services and more mobile medical treatment centres, but these of themselves will not solve the crisis. This crisis will not be resolved until the number of hospital beds is raised, at the very least, to the level prior to the cutbacks of the ‘80s.

Neither does the report call for of a nationwide paramedic ambulance service which would save many lives, and which would also treat many people with less serious injuries at the scene instead of them having to go to A&E.

Ireland is one of the very few countries in the developed world that doesn’t have a paramedic ambulance service.

Paul Kinsella

Lorcan Grove

Santry

Dublin 9

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