HSE’s new regional areas


Sir, – While I’d generally greatly value Sara Burke’s analysis of health policy, I am no clearer on the logic of re-dividing the country into regions for administration of healthcare having read her article “New regional areas not a return to old health boards” (Opinion & Analysis, July 19th).

Describing the 59 patients on trolleys in Limerick, she explains that “in theory the new integrated structures” would allow management to free up the required number of beds.

One would assume that the HSE as it stands, controlling all relevant steps in the process, could do the same.

However, the 59 patients exist in reality; what could be done in theory, by one or other managerial structure, remains in the realm of speculation.

Her advocacy for electronic record-keeping is timely and laudable.

But again, one would have to favour a single system over six separate ones. If one of those 59 patients has an injury that requires transfer outside of the midwest region, for definitive care, their records and radiological imaging will need to be accessible in the receiving centre to inform the relevant discussions.

Such events happen a lot, involving head injuries or the need for cardiac surgery for instance.

If six regions develop their own systems, and at different rates of progress, problems will surely arise. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.