Truly Putting Patients First

Why should patient care suffer first in cutting budgets. To establish the base line for any critical analysis of the appropriateness of alteration in services to patients in the face of a legal requirement of CEO’s to balance the books in hospitals, I have tabled these questions for answering at the Forum of the HSE which meets in Kells.

Questions for HSE Forum Agenda

Question 1. Could the HSE enquire from the CEO’s managing the hospitals in Dublin and NorthEast Division what was the outcome in synergies and increased efficiencies as a result of an Independent Lean Study on the administrative processes in each institution? If such a study has not been commissioned, what criteria were used in each institution to prioritise the preservation of clinical services in the face of budget shortfalls when approximately 70% of expenditure is spend on staff pay? How many layers of middle management have been cut since the imposition of cuts as a result of the funding squeeze?

Question 2. What has been the effect of the introduction of Clinical Directorates on the numbers and cost of administrative staff in each of the hospitals where Clinical directorates have been established?

Question 3. If services to patients are curtailed in our public hospitals, how many patients are likely to be transferred to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to receive services in private hospitals? How does the unit cost of services in the private hospital for the NTPF compare with charges in public hospitals for the same service? If there is a disparity between the systems, is there hard numeric information on the cause of the disparity?