Only a palliative - Health service national plan

THE HSE yesterday published its National Service Plan for 2017, outlining, in simplistic terms, its main goal to “promote health and well-being as part of everything we do, so that people will be healthier.” 

That is hardly a recipe for revolutionary change, which is what our health service needs.

In 2017, the HSE will be in receipt of €13,948.5bn funding from Government. This is an increase of €458.6m over the 2016 allocation, but it is likely to be less than the total funding for this year, as an extra €500m was allocated in July for health and social care services.

No matter which way you spin the HSE plan for 2017, there is no avoiding the conclusion that all the increased budgetary allocation will do is maintain the status quo.

That involves long waiting lists, bed shortages, and recruitment problems. Add to that a claim for increased pay by hospital consultants which, if conceded, would add millions to the cost of running the health service.

There is much that is worthwhile in the programme, but, overall, it lacks ambition and vision.


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