The Government is making and facing “unenviable choices” during this pandemic, but these choices “would never have arisen, at least at such scale, if we had sufficiently invested in our health services over time,” according to the President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA).
Professor Alan Irvine the IHCA President was speaking today as the Association held its annual conference. This year’s conference is taking place virtually because of the pandemic.
“Time and again, the problems we and others highlighted in our health system were long-fingered,” said Prof Irvine.
“As a result, our health service has been backed into a corner and the consequences are hitting people hard.”
Pointing to the need to take lessons from the crisis Prof Irvine “report after report has found the key to capacity is people and beds.”
“We are spending more than ever before on a Winter Plan while borrowing €20 billion and counting to meet the cost of the crisis.
“Yet in budgetary terms, for some 6 per cent of the winter plan budget and 0.15 per cent of current Covid-19 related borrowings we could fix the core problem of vacant permanent consultant posts.
“The immediate benefits this would have on patient care and waiting lists would also extend to other cost savings.”