Survival of the Fittest

I listened with interest this morning to Dr. Tim Lynch, Consultant Neurologist at the Mater and Beaumont Hospitals who was interviewed by Tom McGurk on ‘Today with Pat Kenny‘. He talked about our Minister for Health’s plans to further privatise health care with co-located hospitals, as being ‘Darwinian’ in nature ie. “the survival of the fittest”- those who have health insurance will get good healthcare, those who don’t – won’t! Mary Harney is basing her healthcare strategy on the Boston US model which favours a 2-tier system while Tim Lynch is of the opinion that our healthcare should be based on the Berlin European Model. He wants the HSE to stop bringing in consultants from elsewhere to give glossy reports and to instead consult the ‘experts’ that we already have here – those nurses and doctors who have returned home to Ireland after many years of specialist training abroad. He is totally against the development of more private hospitals “we don’t need them”. What we really need is rehabilitation hospitals. At any given time, there are 50-100 patients ready to go home from the Mater and Beaumont but there are no step-down facilities available. Tim Lynch reckons that if a 400-500 bed rehabilitation hospital was built on the northside of Dublin, between the Mater and Beaumont, the A&E problem would be over. The lack of resources and infrastructure in our present health service is worse than a bad joke. Tim admitted that he often hums Monty Python tunes to himself on his ward rounds. I don’t know how he stays so sane. It must definitely be a case of “always look on the bright side of life”.

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