Shining a spotlight on hospital consultants

 

Sir, – Dr Jacky Jones’s Opinion column, headlined “RTÉ Prime Time programme on consultants was ‘grossly unfair’,” (Health, December 12th) was in itself an unfair reflection of the programme by RTÉ Investigates.

Ms Jones says that to examine the behaviour of three consultants was not representative of all consultants and therefore unfair.

Ms Jones failed to acknowledge the fact that the programme clearly stated the three consultants highlighted in terms of poor performance on hours were representative of a much wider group.

The data analysis in the programme clearly showed that over half of those researched by the programme team in the specialist areas of ENT and Orthopaedics, and also in University Hospital Galway were working hours that were incompatible with the terms of their contracts.

Furthermore, the programme clearly stated the overall breakdown of 80:20 per cent public to private target is being met at a national level. However, RTÉ’s detailed research found this masked a regional problem, with some hospitals doing large volumes of public work only and others doing excessive levels of private work, despite long waiting lists.

RTÉ Investigates consistently works at investigating areas of public interest and looks to shine a light on unfairness across society.

The Euro Health Consumer Index 2016 shows that Ireland is ranked joint last in terms of access to hospital care. – Yours, etc,

PAUL MAGUIRE,

Editor,

RTÉ Investigations Unit,

Donnybrook, Dublin 4.