Noel Whelan: Tony O’Brien row shows media is failing us on health

Former HSE chief gave his views on so much more than Simon Harris’s competence

Former HSE chief executive Tony O’Brien gave some insight into the failings of the health system. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Former HSE chief executive Tony O’Brien gave some insight into the failings of the health system. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The list of challenges facing our health services is growing. There are chronic difficulties in the recruitment of personnel, particularly for consultants and nursing positions.

There is a lack of specialists in several therapies. Our GP service teeters on the verge of collapse, particularly in rural and disadvantaged areas. Increased demand fuelled by demographic trends and improved life expectancy, combined with bad management and medical inflation, has given rise to annual budget overruns on a scale which threaten to undermine all our public expenditure planning.

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