Rebranding will not aid health service


Sir, – The new Government is to put some additional money into reducing waiting lists. That has a familiar sound. Furthermore, it is going to abolish the HSE. That, too, sounds more than a little familiar.

In recent decades, “change the name” has been the single most prevalent theme of successive so-called reforms. These “rebranding” exercises have achieved less than nothing.

We had health boards, the Eastern Regional Health Authority, then the HSE, first co- existing with health boards and then standing alone. Then the HSE (Mark II) was absorbed back into the Department of Health, but not quite. It cannot be easy working within such structures.

And while all this was going on, we have had an unending series of “initiatives” – from “super-hospitals” to “hospital groups”, and of course “universal health insurance”.

Below the radar, we had hospital closures, ward closures and service closures.

Now the HSE is to be replaced by a “Health Commission”. And “trusts” complete with “targets”. Pardon some of us if we do not get overexcited at this latest wheeze.

Delivering equal and timely access to healthcare and wellness from a staff that is valued for what it is and does will not be resolved by “rebrands”, “launches” and, I sense, a touch of the “Irish Water”. – Yours, etc,


Ashford, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – If anyone is looking for a logo for the new “Health Commission”, allow me to suggest a dodo holding a tin of whitewash. – Yours, etc,


Bray, Co Wicklow.