Irish Medical Organisation

IMO Statement - This is NOT an ED Crisis this is a Health System failing to meet patient demand

The core problems have been identified – the solutions are known and those solutions will not change– what is missing is the funding from Government

Wednesday 10th January 2018.  The IMO has called on the Government to acknowledge that what we are currently experiencing in our health services is NOT AN ED CRISIS or a TROLLEY CRISIS but a system wide problem of a lack of capacity across every single sector of the health service.  What we are seeing in our Emergency Departments is only the manifestation of the wider problems – and we are now seeing the same problems in other parts of our services as they struggle to cope with capacity and patient demand.

It is not sustainable to have solutions that:

Cancel elective procedures – in many of these cases the patient will simply present back in ED and in all cases will add to the already unmanageable waiting lists

Transfer patients from hospitals to private facilities – continuing a policy of investing much needed resources into the private system with no corresponding investment in our public system will simply maintain the status quo – it is the same number of patients requiring treatment but we are putting taxpayers’ monies into a private profit based system. 

We need as a society to demand that Government rely on the clear medical evidence and invest the required sums to actually make a difference.  It is simply not acceptable to go through the same crisis year on year with promises of reform.  The continued reliance on temporary fixes is evidence of the need for ongoing resourcing of the system.

All our problems are around capacity –

Capacity with regards to the number of beds in both acute Hospitals and the community setting
Capacity with respect to the number of medical staff – we need to attract more consultants
Capacity in General Practice – we must deliver a wider range of services at GP surgeries

The unfortunate truth that Government seems to be avoiding is that all this requires a seismic shift in the way we deliver and fund our health services and that costs money. It would be truly revolutionary to hear the Government saying not only have they decided on the priorities but they are actually going to fund them.  As a society we cannot continue to simply give out about our health services, we need to agree on the solutions and agree that these will have to be paid for. 

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