Review of healthcare capacity

Sir, – The Government's long-awaited review of healthcare capacity has recommended the establishment of new hospitals to deal with non-urgent cases (News, January 6th). I have no doubt that the locations and indeed the names of these facilities will be decided upon with with our customary efficiency. – Yours, etc,


Rathgar, Dublin 6.

Sir, – We have a two-tier health service in this country. If one can pay or has health insurance, services can be obtained much more rapidly.


Considerable numbers of people, dependant on the public system, have to wait for years to receive some treatments.

A system which is seen as inequitable but inherently difficult to fix.

I wonder if the political powers really care about this inequity but rather have an interest in creating more of them.

I note the development of fast track services for obtaining passports and checking passengers through security in Dublin Airport. All for the payment of an additional fee. – Yours, etc,


Stillorgan, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Once more it appears that Irish healthcare stands at the brink of collapse. Thankfully our Minister for Health appears competent and there is an Oireachtas committee to create a long-term plan for our health services.

However, I venture their efforts will be in vain. There are two reason for this. First, as a nation numbed by years of long waiting lists and trollies on corridors, we now simply accept a second- or third-rate health system as our lot. Second, our current system is dysfunctional and simply putting more money or beds into it will not solve our crisis but rather extend it, as it will sustain the illusion of improvement by degree leading to success. We need a paradigm shift in our expectations and thinking.

First, we have to declare a national objective to create not simply a good health system but one of the best in the world. Every member of our society from the Taoiseach down must commit to this goal regardless of the fear of failure. Second, we must be prepared to solve our crisis using novel solutions. Vested interests from Government, doctors (myself included), the HSE, etc, have to be abandoned. We must think outside of the box and be prepared to practise medicine very differently. This is our moment to prove our national character or perhaps even change it. – Yours, etc,


Kinlough, Co Leitrim.