Too much ideology in Future Healthcare Report, says Private Hospitals Association
‘Opportunity Missed for Public Private Partnership’
Tuesday 30 May 2017. The Report of the Committee on the Future of Healthcare has missed an opportunity to provide for a public-private partnership that would make progress quickly for patients, according to the Private Hospitals Association (PHA).
Simon Nugent, CEO of the PHA, said the Committee had spent too much time obsessed with publicly owned delivery systems rather than taking a holistic view of the overall health assets in the State.
“The report is fixated on public hospitals and public health systems while a highly efficient private system is ignored even though it operates alongside it with a similar spread of services across the country,” Mr. Nugent said. “The Committee appears to have got bogged down with ideology. It has put philosophy over practicality. It is disappointing that the Committee did not decide to partner the public and private systems of healthcare for patients to make real progress quickly for those waiting longest for treatment. I would urge that the Mid-Term Review of the Government’s Capital Plan doesn’t make the same mistake this Summer.
“The Government needs to take a wider view of the totality of health assets in the State. It is in the Government’s interest to stimulate more private sector investment as well as public capital in health infrastructure. In the appropriate policy environment, private providers stand willing to invest in additional beds, operating theatres and other facilities to care for public and private patients.
“I welcome the Committee’s decision to transfer the responsibility of care for private patients to private hospitals. But the recommendation is fudged by another impact study having to be commissioned. The Irish public want action quickly on waiting lists. As today’s Dáil Private Members’ Motion on Waiting Lists points out, the State needs to maximise the use of private capacity to help those who need care quickly. This will only happen if politicians take a wide-angle view on the health assets of the State. The public system has less beds than it did in 1980. Private hospitals treat 400,000 patients a year. With planning and co-operation, this could be doubled,” Mr Nugent predicted.