Irish Medical Organisation

Statement by Irish Medical Organisation - IMO President on Taoiseach's frustration

IMO President on Taoiseach's frustration - "Patients and Doctors are experiencing frustration on a daily basis. Time for action not regret."

Friday 5th January 2018.  The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has expressed exasperation at remarks made yesterday by An Taoiseach about the chaos in the health services.  The Taoiseach apologised to patients experiencing long delays in hospitals and expressed "regret and frustration" that there has not been an improvement despite increased investment.

Speaking today, the President of the IMO Dr. Ann Hogan said that the comments reflected a shocking ignorance of the health services and the impact of years of austerity which was particularly worrying given the Taoiseach is a former Minister for Health.

Dr. Hogan said; "At every budget for the past five years we have warned that the supposed "increases" in the health budgets were mirages and they would not even keep pace with the underlying cost increases in the services.  Any increases in the health budget hardly maintains existing level of services let alone deals with the projected demand based on known demographics and the increase in the elderly population who have complex healthcare requirements. We thought that successive Ministers were trying to fool the it seems that they fooled themselves as well.”

Dr. Hogan said; 'it is a shameful indictment of the political system that the Taoiseach promises the system will stabilise soon but his version of stability involves a 92% bed occupancy on average - which is dangerous - 500 plus patients waiting for admission on trolleys is the new "norm" - almost 700,000 patients waiting for an outpatient appointment - an ever-increasing number of cancelled operations and procedures and a General Practice system which is struggling to meet demand and is near to collapse.  Is that what is acceptable to the Taoiseach as stability?"

Dr. Hogan said that the Taoiseach and his Government must publicly commit to funding and investing in our health services so that we can finally move away from the current pattern of crisis to chaos and back again; "austerity is the root cause of this crisis and investment - significant and urgent - is the only response."


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