Varadkar rebuked in tweet about hospital appointments
Medical Council head asks Taoiseach if he would watch his father ‘deteriorate’
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Bray GP Rita Doyle tweeted “would you wait and watch your father deteriorate before your eyes because he could not afford private healthcare?” Photograph: Virginia Mayo/File Photo
The president of the Medical Council has publicly rebuked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris over the difficulties doctors experience in getting hospital appointments for their public patients.
In an outspoken attack on the Government from the head of the doctors’ professional body, Bray GP Rita Doyle took to Twitter to say she was “genuinely appalled” at the access for public patients to outpatient hospital services.
One of her patients has lost more than a stone in weight waiting for an urgent appointment. “My fifth letter about him has gone [out] today. I do not blame medics. It is our Government who do not prioritise healthcare – shame.”
Addressing Mr Varadkar and Mr Harris directly, she tweeted: “would you wait and watch your father deteriorate before your eyes because he could not afford private healthcare?”.
“You would not. Please let us care for the sick and older patients first. I am genuinely very upset for my patient – so much sicker now than before.”
“I never thought our health service could be so bad at responding to very sick patients. This man need specialist care, not A&E. The tears roll down my face as I think about him. Shame on us as a nation!!”
Dr Doyle is the first woman and the second GP to be appointed president of the Medical Council.
*This article was amended on August 15th as an earlier version said Dr Doyle was the first GP president to appointed president of the Medical Council. Dr Gerry Bury was the first.