GP’s unable to make a living in rural Ireland

There has been a Dr Casey working as a GP in Clifden since 1916. When the current Dr Casey’s father, Dr Michael Casey took over in the 1940s, he replaced another Dr Casey (no relation) and when he retired in 1974, his son, Dr John Casey took over.

But it’s unlikely that a Dr Casey will have been the local doctor in Clifden for a hundred years in 2016, despite the fact that Dr Casey’s son, (also John) has qualified as a GP and works in the practice with him.

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First, do no harm

There are at least three phrases the Irish people don’t want to hear again after eating the humble pie of an economic collapse.

Those post-prandial flourishes – “We are where we are”, “legacy issues” and “the actions of a previous government” seem like reasonable excuses, but not when the government seems hell-bent on creating the type of problems now that will come back to haunt us in the future.

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Reilly’s delays in health are just a cop-out

We are finally beginning to glimpse Minister James Reilly‘s vision for the health service but, unfortunately, it is a mirage. It is based on a new approach in politics, a constantly shifting vision of something good that moves further back every time we approach it.

Such is the case with Universal Health Care – launched last week but not available in practice for at least five years. It’s like the famous songline, “You’ll get pie in the sky when you die” – a promise that the long-term future will be different, if only you’re around to experience it.

We’ve been here before, of course. We’ve had the mental health strategy, the primary care strategy, the waiting list plan and a host of other really good things that, if they were implemented, would be excellent improvements. But, of course, they haven’t been implemented because ultimately, the dream is thought to be good enough for accumulating political capital while we’re waiting for the health service to miraculously change by itself. Continue reading »