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Is our health service already undergoing a collapse?

  • 18-11-2021 6:35pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,237 ✭✭✭ Indestructable

    I've a feeling our health system has already, at least partially, collapsed.

    I was in a pharmacy today and the woman ahead of me was getting antigen tests for her parents. She was almost certain both of them had chest infections. She couldn't get hold of a GP, her own wasn't answering the phone for the past 2 days and none other in the area would see them. The advice was to bring them to the A and E.

    On the radio today some higher up in the HSE was saying avoid A and E if at all possible.

    There are many other stories like this, what are you experiences?

    It's borderline impossible to get frontline medical attention now. A collapse won't happen all at once, it's a gradual process that seems to be ongoing now. Starting with GP care.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,000 ✭✭✭ igCorcaigh

    The Chief Executive of the HSE has said that the latest surge in Covid-19 cases is having the highest level of impact on health services since the pandemic began

    Higher than the peak of illness in January when 200 were in ICU and 2,000 in hospital with Covid?

  • Registered Users Posts: 729 ✭✭✭ SupplyandDemandZone

    No. A lot of scaremongering going on though.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Most things don t need to see the doctor. What was stopping her dropping a note through the letterbox or ringing the bell?. Most ridiculous thing i saw was a letter from my kids school saying there was a covid case and advising concerned parents to ring their GP first!, despite all the advice being online and hse helpline also. Didnt advise to ring gp if kid got sick

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,237 ✭✭✭ Indestructable

    The difference this year and going into January is that we shouldn't have a lockdown. All the usual pressures on the HSE will be there in addition to Covid.

    Flu, alcohol related issues, accidents all the regular stuff the inefficient HSE can just about cope with, in addition to Covid, is a recipe for disaster.

    Backlogs and missing scans/tests from the past 2 years will surely begin to catch up shortly too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,237 ✭✭✭ Indestructable

    I've read a lot of your posts on the Covid threads and for the most part I agree with what you say.

    However, I don't think it's scaremongering to say the HSE is under massive pressure, its being realistic.

    This is not solely related to Covid, but it is the straw that broke it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,969 ✭✭✭ NSAman

    Of course the Irish health system has collapsed. It’s not fit for purpose and is a total basket case.

    covid or not, the system does not work. What we are seeing now is the stress being put onto frontline staff, there simply are too many managers doing “paperwork” and not enough people looking after patients.

    frankly, it needs dismantling and re-invention.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,223 ✭✭✭ kirk.

    They just need a cash injection of 20bn

    Oh wait what am I sayin

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,411 ✭✭✭ lawrencesummers

    900k people on waiting lists for treatment.

    People getting appointment letters for 5 years time.

    €20-30 million of court settlements to affected patients every week.

    Has it collapsed?

    Im surprised you have to ask that question

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  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ .42.

    I’m just surprised that our health service has lacked efficiency for decades and No minister or party has ever been able to fix it.

    also nobody has ever explained what the issue is.

    we are a rich little Island country that pumps billions into their health service only to make it worse then the year before.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,962 ✭✭✭ Cluedo Monopoly

    Is anyone in the least bit surprised? There was an ICU consultant (Vincents) on the radio earlier in the week saying ICU capacity has been too low for a long time and multiple reports saying the same thing. He said it should have been increased significantly to account for the new Covid workload.

    The INMO have been begging for improvements every winter for decades but nobody was listening. You reap what you sow.

    This INMO press release is from November 2019.

    2019 breaks record for most patients on trolleys – and it’s not even December (

    2019 has seen the highest number of patients on trolleys in any year since records began – despite it still being November.

    “Winter has only just begun and the record is already broken. These statistics are the hallmark of a wildly bureaucratic health service, which is failing staff and patients alike.

    “We take no pleasure in having to record these figures for a decade and a half. We know the problem, but we also know the solutions: extra beds in hospitals, safe staffing levels, and more step-down and community care outside of the hospital.

    “No other developed country faces anything close to this trolley problem. It can be solved, but a strong political agenda to drive change is needed.

    “The INMO has written to the health and safety authorities this week to try force a change from the employers. Hospitals should be a place of safety and care – not danger.”

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,618 ✭✭✭✭ banie01

    If not collapsed, it is most certainly facing serious issues. Even prior to Covid, ICU was under resourced and the primary care system far too fragmented to be effective.

    The move towards Slainté care and universal GP coverage has been far to slow. As has the amalgamation of GP's offering minor surgery.

    I have a great GP practice, everyone there really does a great job but, far too much of what they can do is currently limited and it was such prior to the pandemic.

    A move towards a better integrated healthcare system with a greater focus on actual primary care. GP, community nursing, physio, Advanced Nurse Practioners and other support services including minor surgery. Run those services on broader time base say 16hrs a day in a shift cycle and it would allow for a far greater utilisation of services than the current 8-5 model of GP/primary care service delivery.

    As for the current state of play, we knew pre any pandemic that we were short @ 150 ICU beds. Some have been added but it is an understandably slow process. Even if 150 ICU beds were immediately funded, bringing the actual staff online to run them 24/7 requires multi-year grad and specialist recruitment.

    I don't know what the fixes are. It's easy to say money yet, there are multiple bottlenecks in staff, deployment, resourcing and unions all with their own area foremost. Rather than developing an encompassing strategy to deliver world class frontline and patient services.

    Given our health budget, that should be the ultimate aim.

    Figuring out just how to deliver that? Is a process that really does require engagement and candour from all parties.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,666 ✭✭✭✭ listermint

    What in the jaysus has wokies got to do with the health service. What the jaysus is a wokie.

    Is your da working? Or is he on state pension. If it was up to the libertarian nonsense that's across these boards your sick da would and should be out working old or not.

    Wokies. Lol 😊

  • Registered Users Posts: 616 ✭✭✭ Burty330

    Paul Reid should be drawing the dole, the peanut headed waste of space. Amazing how such failure goes completely unchallenged in this country

  • Amazing how the same population who disregard their health in favour of obesity - and all the dire consequences that come with it (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, strokes, heart attacks etc.) - are often the same people who now complain about not having enough GPs / healthcare provision in the country.

    Perhaps if people looked after themselves more, rather than relying on the government to catch up with the number of GPs needed, that would help.

    That, and people wasting GPs time with issues that go away themselves anyway; and old people clogging up GPs surgeries because they've often got nothing better to do with their time. And people wasting GPs time in Winter going to the doctor to get prescribed antibiotics for the common cold, a viral infection. There's a few practical solutions to ponder in the meantime.

    Ireland has one of the highest levels of obesity in Europe, with 60% of adults and over one in five children and young people living with overweight and obesity.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,867 ✭✭✭ Grab All Association

    Lot of fake dubious doctors in the system too. Many Irish doctors have retired to be replaced with “doctors” lacking basic medical knowledge and who think elbows are ankles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,547 ✭✭✭ seenitall

    My GP is really good and prompt as well, I can’t say I have any complaints whatsoever about the service we receive, especially when I read some horror stories on here. (My heart goes out to the old and vulnerable people who are shabbily treated because of the lack of staff and resources, and their carers alike.)

    I think perhaps not living in the overcrowded beehive AKA Dublin may have something to do with it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭ Brucie Bonus

    He had zero health experience before being made top man.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,191 ✭✭✭ RandomViewer

    If you add the legal bills to those awards the figures for negligence cases must be close to half a billion a year,

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,411 ✭✭✭ lawrencesummers

    And thats the ones that go to court.

    many others are settled out of court.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty

    I am at the other end of the scale to the poster with the elderly father.

    I have 3 kids, and getting an appiontment is impossible.Been in and out myself lately with an issue or two...have to wait 3 days for a phone appointment.3 weeks for a nurse appointment!Kids, you just get told, DDoc or Temple St.DDoc have 8-10 hours waits for appointments.Temple St....well that is 8 hours as a standard wait.To get an ear looked at, or a chest listened to.Because usually that's what it is.

    I don't know if this is a collapse, it has been getting progressively worse the last few years.Nobody seems interested in improving it, or has the appetite to take on vested interest groups.Covid has resulted in a small number of good changes, but a wider situation where everything is placed second to covid, and it is miserable.My entire stress this winter lies in not being able to get timely access to a GP.Kids can go from ok to bad, and from bad to worse over a very short period of time (and also from bad to ok quickly!!)You don't have time to hang around if their temp won't go down below 40 with calpol or neurofen, or they get bad croup out of nowhere, and can't breathe.When you layer 3 or 3 days messing around with PCR tests over that, it is incredibly hard at the moment.And nobody seems willing to acknowledge or sort it.

  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭✭ Jacob Sparse Podiatrist

    I’m sure that you have sources for your claims? Care to share them? Or even care to share your solutions. Thanks in advance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,271 ✭✭✭ km991148

    This question could have been asked in 2019 and the answer either be the same.. yes

  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭ Repo101

    The government blames the HSE, The HSE blames a lack of funding and the Unions, middle managers blame the HSE, staff blame middle management. The problem is multifaceted and each group has some responsibility. One sector of the HSE that is a disgrace is the assessment of need, where staff seem to be constantly on maternity leaving children waiting months to get assessed. Staff should not be allowed to take maternity leave all at once leaving no cover in a particular area for 9 months. It's a joke of a system and all the staff abuse it.

    What public sector body actually works well except for Revenue? No personal responsibility creates these problems.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭ Brucie Bonus

    You want me to fix the health service? At least you recognise its broken.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,103 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762

    Thats just trolling its such a crazy suggestion.

    But to add to the problems, once COVID is "over" there will likely be an exodus of fed-up staff from health services worldwide. And it'll be harder to get people into health as the pay/conditions/environment are terrible for all but the top consulants and management.

  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭✭ Jacob Sparse Podiatrist

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭ Brucie Bonus

    I'm not a health expert no.

    When your car breaks down and the mechanic comes, does he ask you to suggest a fix? If you can't is he justified in leaving your car by the side of the road?