Can Irish hospitals live up to French ones?


Sir, – I have just returned from a holiday in France. The day after we arrived there, I was taken ill and an ambulance was sent for. Although we were staying in a very rural part, the ambulance got to the house in 10-15 minutes. I was seen to and brought to a large hospital an hour’s drive away.

As soon as we got there I was taken to the A&E department, where I was the only patient. I was immediately seen by various doctors and had a good many tests done, including an MRI scan, after which, at approximately 3am, I was taken up to a pleasant two-bedded ward and got into a comfortable bed, where I spent the next five days having treatment and being well looked after by pleasant staff, none of whom could speak much English. All of this was free of charge.

Although it was pretty hard on my husband and the family, I was very thankful that I had been taken ill in France rather than in Dublin, where my experience might have been completely different.

Is it likely that the emergency departments in Irish hospitals will ever become as stress- free for staff and patients as this French one? And how is it managed? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.