Sláintecare and patients

 

Sir, – Cormac O’Carroll’s sloganeering and apples-to-oranges comparison regarding Irish consultants are ill informed (Letters, September 24th).

In direct contradiction to his claim is the fact that one in five consultant posts in Ireland are unfilled. These vacancies are testament that the positions on offer are simply not attractive to physicians from across the EU, many of whom could readily fill all these positions and many more.

It is worth changing the goalposts in this long-running saga of misinformation to highlight a critical fact. Those who suffer the most from these terms and conditions are not consultants but Irish patients. It is Irish patients who stand to gain the most from filling every post and the many more we need to reach international norms. It is Irish patients who will continue to suffer as long as the required consultant numbers fall short.

The subject of national conversation needs to shift from spin regarding consultants to honesty regarding patients. Patients need timely and high-quality care. Patients need care that is accessible and equitable. This simply will never happen without the consultant numbers and expertise to deliver this. Ultimately patient care and consultant conditions are two sides of the same coin.

Irish healthcare would be best served by focusing on our patients by providing the conditions necessary to ensure there are enough consultants to diagnose and treat them. – Yours, etc,

Dr MARTIN ARRIGAN,

Consultant Radiologist,

University of British

Columbia,

Vancouver,

Canada.