The Health Service Executive (HSE) is adopting a new communications strategy in which high profiled pundits, politicians and patient advocates will be offered an opportunity to question senior HSE management about the malfunctioning of the health service.
The first person being approached under this new “open mind policy” is the celebrity lawyer Gerald Keane, who has been a regular chat show contributor on health matters. As a result, he is considered an opinion former. “We want to break down barriers and give an honest assessment,” Paul Conners the HSE’s national director of communications explained. “It’s good communications.”
There is no doubt that answering the questions posed by high profiled personalities and opinion formers is good communication, but in the last analysis what people really want is effective action, not excuses, which is what they will probably be getting.
This is essentially the kind of cosmetic exercise in which bureaucrats seem to thrive. The HSE is spending a fortune on public relations and other matters that have little to do with health. The latest initiative is not really about serving the people; it is more about fooling them. We have had all the promises, but the system is still sick.
If talk and promises would solve the problems, they would have long since disappeared. It is not answers in the form of empty excuses that the people want; they desire effective action.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved