IMO warns ‘radical reform is now the only viable option’ for health system
IMO’s pre-Budget submission launched today
• ‘We cannot accept another Budget which does not adequately address our significant capacity issues, dire doctor shortages and sub-standard working environment as this will ultimately impact patient care’
Thursday September 28, 2023. The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has warned that radical reform is now the only viable option for a health system that has been chronically under-funded and under-resourced for decades.
The IMO launched its pre-Budget submission today (Thursday) in Dublin (see editors’ note below for summary of recommendations).
It said it was imperative that the Government focus on two key areas in next month’s Budget:
• Health service capacity: there has been little or no increase in capacity across our health system despite rising demand from a growing and ageing population. This is the key driver of Emergency Department overcrowding.
• Medical workforce planning: poor medical workforce planning has left us with an on-going shortage of medical specialists and extensive waiting lists for hospital care
Speaking today, Dr John Cannon, President of the IMO, said: “This year, the Government has the chance to do what successive governments have failed to do for decades: implement radical reform of our health system for the good of patients.
“This is the only viable option for a service that has been chronically under-funded and under-resourced for generations. We cannot accept another Budget which does not adequately address our significant capacity issues. We need substantial investment in capacity right across our health system including 5,000 acute hospital beds, supports for investment in GP infrastructure, short and long-term care for our older population and a plan to fully digitalise our health service.
“We need urgent investment in our medical workforce. Workforce planning requires a clear implementation plan that not only aligns the number of training places with future demand but addresses working conditions and the ongoing issues of recruitment and retention.
“Time and again we see examples of the Government failing to follow through on recommendations that are urgently needed across the board. We cannot postpone meaningful reform any longer.”