IMO warns: 'Poor political decisions about healthcare have and will cost lives'

14 Sep 2018

‘Poor political decisions about healthcare have and will cost lives’


Friday, 14th September: Poor political decisions about healthcare have and will cost lives, the President of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has said.


Speaking ahead of a major conference on access to healthcare in Ireland, Dr Peadar Gilligan said that there are successes and challenges in delivering healthcare care in Ireland today. We are doing many wonderful things in healthcare but far too often we are not supported by the appropriate resources.”


The conference, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday, September 15th) at Croke Park in Dublin, will hear from experts about accessing care across the health sector. Experts will debate Sláintecare and set out their experiences on improving healthcare in Ireland, getting care, access to acute hospital care and care for at-risk groups.


The conference will hear that much of the discussion around health in Ireland is negative, but that there must be recognition of what is good about the healthcare system across the country.


Dr Gilligan, a consultant in emergency medicine, will tell the conference that while care is being delivered, Ireland ranks worst of 36 countries in terms of ease of access to healthcare.


This, he says, must change. 


“The current system is operating at or above capacity – acute bed occupancy, trolley waits and waiting lists point to an acute service under extreme pressure,” says Dr Gilligan.


Dr Gilligan says that now is the time for Ireland to have a conversation about the health service and what can be achieved. He called on politicians to refrain from making promises on behalf of the health service, which he believes is operating at capacity.


It is not, he says, just about spending, though that should form part of the discussion.


“Clarity is needed about what is reasonable to expect from the health service, what funding is to be allocated to meet those expectations and what decisions need to be made to benefit the greatest number of people in a fair and transparent way. 


“Central to this debate will be the issue of what society is prepared to invest in its health service,” said Dr Gilligan, who added that good decisions must be made.


“Poor decision-making impacts your life. Poor political decisions impact on everybody’s life. Poor healthcare decisions cost lives.


“Poor political decisions about healthcare have and will cost many lives.”


The Getting Healthcare in Ireland conference takes place on Saturday, 15th of  September at 9am in Croke Park.


For more information and a full programme, click here.


Issued on behalf of the IMO by Gordon MRM


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