The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole

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As the hysteria around Croke Park Two escalates, outspoken GP Dr Ruairi Hanley talked a lot of sense on Newstalk this morning.

The HSE (Health Service Executive) has an annual budget of €13.4 billion. Despite this, Ireland’s Health Service is widely perceived to be one of the worst in the developed world – interminable waiting lists, patients languishing on trollies and emergency departments reminiscent of a Beckett play.

In 1997, according to Dr Hanley, the HSE functioned (or malfunctioned) with a mere 6,000 administrators. By 2013 this had risen to 17,000 with no appreciable improvement in service.

It’s pretty clear that the organisation is endemically bloated, unaccountable and bureaucratic.

Yet the government refuses to take the necessary steps to make the organisation more efficient by introducing compulsory redundancies.

Instead as Dr Hanley eloquently puts it “some granny won’t get her hip replacement”.

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