Waiting for a better A & E service
Sir, – John Collins’s article on his experience of the Mater Hospital accident and emergency department (while attending recently with his mother) dramatically brought home the appalling state of the public health services after a decade or more of mismanagement and neglect (Home News, September 30th).
The article was very moving on many levels. However, as a GP in the north inner city, I was struck in particular by the response of the Mater Hospital which accompanied the story and which, inter alia, made the claim that attendances (at emergency departments) are higher during the afternoon “when GP practices close”.
In fact the vast majority of GPs in the area offer morning, afternoon and evening surgeries and indeed there is also an excellent out-of-hours service for the area run by local GPs themselves.
Your correspondent painted a very revealing picture of the chaos at the heart of our public hospitals which is directly linked to the lack of adequate resources to cope with the increasing complexity of delivering first-class health services to our citizens.
The situation in general practice is no better. Following draconian cuts of almost €150 million to general practice, many GPs are struggling to maintain services and we appear to be moving further away from the Government’s stated aim of getting patients out of hospitals with more emphasis on primary care.
There is much talk of reform in the health services, but it should be reform for the better, not the current situation whereby patients are suffering needlessly and doctors are struggling to deliver care in an increasingly under-resourced health service. – Yours, etc,
Dr RAY WALLEY,
Chair IMO GP Committee,