Winter Plan – Time for a reality check
Tuesday 11th October 2022. The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has warned that the Winter Plan has increasingly become a media exercise rather than a meaningful intervention to alleviate the year round pressures in our health services.
Speaking today, Dr. Clive Kilgallen, President of the IMO said; “The annual unveiling of the Winter Plan for the health services has become increasingly unmoored from the daily reality of the services. It’s now more about branding than a meaningful intervention to deal with the capacity issues, workforce crisis and patient waiting lists.”
Dr. Kilgallen said the plan was a series of rehashed announcements; “the monies promised today were previously announced in the budget and are simply insufficient to tackle the enormity of the year round challenge facing our health service, let alone cope with the additional pressures expected over the coming months. We already have almost 900 vacant consultant posts in our services so the promise of a further 50 ED Consultants in a short space of time seems ambitious to say the least, or simply unachievable in real terms. Unless and until we have sufficient capacity in the system in terms of beds, adequate numbers of consultants, fully resourced GP services and other community services these announcements become meaningless to those working in our health services and the patients who need care.”