Saturday, 9 August 2008

Lets All Hold Hands and Dance

I'm constantly apologising when I write to this blog, mainly because I never post as much as I want to. In truth thats down to two things........1) I've been so horrendously busy lately with the new job and 2) the Ain't No Angel wedding 2008 is quickly approaching and any free time I have gets taken up by that!

So bear with me folks,

I'm sure you've all been very happy though with the new addition to the team, Dr Jane Doe. Her posts thus far have been insightful and reasoned, much better than the tripe from that old hack Dr Thunder........:)

Joking aside though, its great to have her aboard, may she be the first of many more new team members!

So now for the bit you've been waiting for.....the Ain't No Angel trademarked rant.........

You might be wondering why I've posted a picture of Fernando and Robbie, looking happy and joyous above. Well apart from the fact that signing Robbie is an inspired decision on the part of the GodMan Rafa, I'm using it as a visual illustration of a concept sadly missing from the Irish Health Care System.

Let me explain........

Liverpool football club have many great players, but what we really missed last season was a player to play with Torres to link the midfield genius of Steven Gerrard/Alonso/Mascherano with the blonde excellence of Torres. Sure from time to time Stevie G stepped up to the plate and performed excellenetly, but it was never consistent enough for my liking, and ultimately we relied on Torres to produce a special moment far too much. This is were Robbie comes in, not only can he score many a fine goal himself, but as a player who sits back a little, works hard and links up the play he is one of the best around.

The Irish Health service is very similar. No.....we don't have long haird Spanish goalscoring machines performing colectomies, or emptying bedpans,but what we do have is this.......

All in all our hospitals are pretty damn good. When I say this, I mean from a clinical point of view. Our nurses, doctors and other professionals are well educated bright people. The standard of care once you get into a hosptial bed is good. Sure, there are resource issues etc but taken in isolation our medical care is comparable to anywhere else in the developed world.

When you look at the community setting, things are always so rosey, but certainly improving. Schemes like Hospice in the Home, which allows those patients on the last rung of the ladder, to die in their own home, with dignity and family support, are certainly excellent. I could name more.......the Diabetes Watch Scheme in the North-East, the countless local community day centres and community units.....and not to forget the army of Public Health Nurses covering huge areas of the country on a daily basis. Again, resources are an issue, but if all these things disapeared in the morning, chaos would ensue. I'd go so far as to say that those in the community are most definitely keeping the wolves from the door and playing a very large part in keeping the whole health service afloat.

Anyone see the anaology here.........

The hospital setting ( some world class staff in a system that needs some more basic funding and management)


Liverpools midfield ( some world class players, in a team that needs some more basic funding and improvement)

The community setting ( over-relied upon, over-worked even though they rarely complain and just get on with the jobs that they have to do)


Fernando Torres ( over-relied upon, over-worked even, rarely complains and just get on with the job that he hasto do)

So who is the Health Services Robbie Keane in this long winded and possibily confusuing analogy.......any guesses???

Well that would be a second level, a level between the acute hospitals and the non-acute community setting. A level for those people not quite sick enough for say a bed in St Vincents Hospital but not quite well enough to be home alone go and get sorted. A level where GP's have access to x-rays, scopes and even CT's allowing quick diagnosis and treatment. A level that would speed up the discharge of patient out of the acute sector, preventing the blocking of beds (that happens by no fault of the patient) and cutting the waiting lists and emptying the A&E Departments around the country, as people don't feel that the only place to go when the they feel sick is the local A&E.

In the new job, I'm spending a lot of time following my patients from admission through to their eventual discharge and treatment in the community, and my God it can get complicated! Every region does things differently, the right hand doesn't always know what the left hand is doing and the red tape can be frustrating! In contrast, when I deal with the private health insurers with many of the same aims in mind, its sooooooo easy, efficient and simple.

Spot the difference??


  1. Haha-I spotted the irony that Mary Harney was wearing a white coat!
    Great post Ain't No Angel!

  2. So who is the Health Services Robbie Keane?

    I dunno...

    but the body language between Drumm and Harney tells me that they're not likely to hold hands anytime soon!