Two patients: one unequal system

 

Sir, – This week I felt extremely angry at the injustice and inequality in Irish society. I am more than 30 years working in Irish general practice and have rarely felt so angry and upset. I have two patients with the same condition – aortic stenosis – a critical narrowing of a heart valve.

Surgery is life-saving and both have been deemed suitable candidates – one patient is well recovered from his surgery having endured no waiting list – the other is nigh on one year waiting for her surgery – is completely house bound and unable even to walk to the local shops. The difference? He is a private patient and she is a public patient.

It is morally wrong that money rather than need is the determinant for access to tertiary medical care.

I have always been a champion of our public health system and have huge regard for the work that is done – but if access is so bad – worse than it was 20 years ago- then there is something rotten in the state of Ireland. – Yours, etc,

RITA DOYLE, Meath Road, Bray, Co Wicklow.