Free Care deal is a smokescreen for IMO

When the doctor opens up the wound and finds cancer inside, everybody understands the choice – it is either to cut out the tumour, or seal up the wound and allow it to fester. In the latter case, it is only a matter of time until the patient succumbs.

Surprisingly, however, the Irish Medical Organisation continues to leave the cancer inside, and hope that its outward appearance of health will fool everyone into believing that nothing is wrong.

Continue reading »

Why you can’t vote for a better health system

This week the Health Service Executive response to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General was sent erroneously to Oireachtas members and subsequently revealed in the media. Among other things, it showed that one HSE employee who traveled to New York took a ‘personal guest’ along, literally, for the ride.

The employee claimed the air fare for his/her ‘friend’, and the hotel bill showed that the two had stayed in the same room. Other claims showed that employees were claiming drinking expenses while traveling the world at the expense of the HSE, which is, after all 100% funded by the taxpayer. Continue reading »

Ebola and Obama – what’s the connection?

While the rest of us try to think rationally about the possible spread of the Ebola virus, it would seem that that strange mental construct that is the American right is trying to make the whole thing President Barack Obama’s fault.

Funny that. As I was writing ‘President Obama’, I realised that while, to the right, Bush was always ‘President’ Bush when he was in office, and the right still refer to him as ‘ex-President Bush’ they refer to their current President as ‘Obama’. Continue reading »

Fear of Ebola only happens when it shows up next door

The Ebola river is a tributary of the Zaire river and it gives its name to the deadly virus discovered in 1976. It was discovered after the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp received a sample from a Belgian nun who had died, in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and who had been diagnosed with yellow fever.

But when Peter Piot discovered the new virus, he never imagined it could spread to become today’s world-wide epidemic and what he calls the ‘humanitarian crisis’ it is now. He blames the spread of the virus on a ‘perfect storm’ of troubles in West Africa – decades of civil wars, health services barely worthy of the name, limited medical resources and a slow and sluggish global response. Continue reading »

Too long a sacrifice…

Today’s guest column comes from Liam Farrell, columnist, broadcaster, ex-general practitioner.

Some years ago, on a hospice locum, I made a point of visiting the day room as often as I could. It was a source of wonder; whenever I looked in it would be humming with activity. In one corner, a sing-song would be in session, with a volunteer accompanying on piano; in another corner, set up as a little coffee shop, there were animated discussions going on at every table. Outside, the minibus, driven by another volunteer, was drawing up, and some residents burst in the door full of news about their guided trip around the Botanic Gardens. It was a place where death was not considered an enemy. Continue reading »

How to make an extra €41,000 from the HSE

What, exactly is a Clinical Director in the Irish Health system and what do they do? I’ve asked this question before in another HSE, so I can examine it in detail.

It’s an important question, now that Dr Susan Reilly has become one of the most important leaders in the health service as the chief executive of the Dublin and Midlands Hospital Group. She will be paid €219,993 for this task – along with the very very generous perks and pensions that come with the job.

But she will also continue to be paid her ‘allowance’ as a Clinical Director. Continue reading »

How many people have died because of austerity?

Some readers may be acquainted with the book The Body Economic by David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu. It examines how austerity and policies of austerity costs lives.

I’m trying to get a handle on many Irish lives have been lost due to the austerity policies followed by our government here in Ireland. Is anybody doing any work in this area – or willing to do some work in this area?

Last week, Prof Trevor Duffy of the Irish Medical Organisation claimed that people had died because of cutbacks and at the Irish Hospital Consultants’ Association AGM in Cork, Dr Gerard Crotty said that people had died unnecessarily because they had been forced to wait on trolleys.

But is it quantifiable?

Has anybody out there got some stats or a way of measuring the extent of mortality due to cutbacks?

If you do, please email me at

[do_widget “subscribe2 widget”]

IMO says body should be ashamed of itself for dubious practices (not them)

Today, Monday October 6th, the Irish Medical Organisation accused the HSE of elder abuse, through the practice of writing to older people and requiring them to write back to confirm their place on a waiting list, or lose their place.

This practice, they,say, was one of a number of such practices used by the HSE to massage waiting lists which have been highlighted in recent days. Continue reading »

IMO votes NOT to review how they lost €10 million (We’ll leave it there lads)

The membership of Irish Medical Organisation has voted not to look into the fact that they dropped a cool €10 million euro (and who knows what else) paying off its former chief executive George McNeice. Neither is it going to look into any of the activity that went on while McNeice was chief executive, including the practice of paying the President €100,000 a year but then presenting the President’s wife a bouquet of flowers at the AGM (always in George’s hometown of Killarney) as a ‘thank you’ for her husband’s hard work for the year.

Yes, well, that and the hundred grand they didn’t tell the members about 😉

Continue reading »