Health plans for 2014
Sir, – I read with interest the HSE’s new “National Service Plan” for 2014. In the area of primary care, our noble administrators have effectively decided to take full medical cards from tens of thousands of older citizens. Many of these patients will be on multiple medications and as a consequence will suffer significant financial hardship. Others will be unable to afford their prescriptions and thus will be more likely to develop serious illness with consequent hospital admission. This will result in a far greater cost to the taxpayer.
Meanwhile, perfectly healthy and wealthy five-year-old children are to be given an automatic medical card as part of an elaborate strategy to win votes from middle-class parents and save Labour Party seats in south county Dublin.
Worse still, in a move worthy of a banana republic, the Government continues to squander millions of euro on unnecessary, unwanted and unviable “primary care centres” across the land. These political vanity projects, which most GPs are wisely avoiding, are nothing more than a mini-bailout for the construction industry and a photo opportunity for county councillors.
To deploy scarce resources in such a cynical, wasteful fashion is nothing short of contemptible. Shame on those responsible. – Yours, etc,
Dr RUAIRI HANLEY