Fine Gael and the health service

Sir, – Further to Stephen Collins's "The cliché that Ireland has a 'third-world' health service was never remotely true" (Opinion & Analysis, April 3rd), the public here never doubted the commitment and bravery of the people who work in the health service. Describing the service as "third world" never applied to the staff but to the facilities they had to work with and whose shortcomings the medical professionals highlighted.

Your columnist praises the “quality of our health service” and Minister for Health Simon Harris’s record. Has he forgotten about patients awaiting attention for hours on trollies, including some elderly people? Ireland has the worst ratio of intensive-care beds by population in the EU, half that of Italy and a quarter that of Germany.

This is the health service record of the present Minister and Government, and it has made dealing with the coronavirus even more difficult than it should be. – Yours, etc,



Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Why has it taken a crisis to expose our two-tier healthcare system as absurd, immoral and wasteful? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 14.