Is there gold at the end of the HSE Rainbow for private hospitals? Thankfully I have not been to an A&E department as a patient myself (touch wood!) for some time but I have to ask would I go to our local hospital to wait for hours or to one of the many private clinics where you are assured to be seen in a hour. The question is are the right people using these facilities?
My last trip to A&E found me sitting for several hours along with a dozen of other poor souls with a variety of ailments from your good old fashioned minor accidents to the much often seen in A&E departments nationwide patients with a few too many drinks on them, I can understand how staffing A&E’s can be difficult.
At this point I can hold my hand up and say yes, perhaps I shouldn’t have sat in A&E for several hours for what turned out to be a severe sprain but rather have gone to one of the many facilities that the HSE and private sector provide and be home in time to watch the 6 O’clock News but hindsight is a wonderful thing!
With our A&E departments being stretched to the limit every day, constant newspaper headlines reporting on backlogs, patients on trolleys (257 on the Tuesday after the October Bank Holiday as per INMO). GP’s and private clinics the promise of being in and out in a hour and not to mention the GP Out of Hours Services are we using the Health Service to the best of our ability? Is the HSE to blame or our outlook and use of the facilities we are being offered every day. Either way these services are essential and necessary and fair play to the staff in A&E today! My aim is to continue to recruit doctors to man these front line services, to continue to offer choice of services and to ensure that when you need your local A&E department that the right staff is there.