Private Hospitals Association Says Silos in Health Services Stopping Progress for Patients
20 June 2017 A silo mentality in the public health system is blinding the Government to obvious solutions for patients, according to the Private Hospitals Association
Simon Nugent, the Chief Executive of the Private Hospitals Association, told the organisation’s annual conference today in Dublin, that public and private hospitals could be partnered to at last make headway for public patients.
“Private Hospitals stand ready to crank up activity to help public patients,” Mr Nugent said. “While there are waiting list initiatives, these need to be stepped up rather than the current drops in the ocean that they are. The initiatives should be made fit for purpose for the scale of the current challenge and expedited.”
“A silo mentality has operated for too long where the public system does not exploit the potential of private hospitals. The Department of Health doesn’t even involve private hospitals in winter planning. Now that we are in high summer, well ahead of the winter, a public-private hospital partnership should be developed to ensure patients do not suffer unnecessarily. Ideology has a place in healthcare but it should not be at the expense of making patients suffer and wait.
“Without much ado, an appointments system and partnering arrangement could be developed between nearby public and private hospitals where those seeking care quickly could be treated,” Mr Nugent said.
“Ireland’s health services are in crisis. The public wants modern, fit-for-purpose healthcare systems. The State hasn’t the assets to achieve this on its own and it shouldn’t cut its nose to spite its face and ignore the potential of interactions of private and public hospitals that could help patients and underpin the health and well-being of Irish society. This debate is increasingly important as the Government decides on the best approach to invest and reform.”
The Private Hospitals Association conference also hosted the first debate on the Future of Healthcare Committee report. Politicians, commentators and industry figures featured in the discussion on the future of healthcare with former Chairman of the HSE, businessman Frank Dolphin participating.
The conference also featured other key national and international players and was opened by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris. The Secretary General of the Department of Health Jim Breslin also spoke, as did the Chief Executive of the Royal College of Physicians, Leo Kearns and Professor Frances Ruane, the former Director of the ESRI and the chair of an expert group that reported in 2010 on financing healthcare in Ireland. Other speakers included Paula Wilson, Chief Executive of Joint Commission International (JCI) – the regulator of many Irish Private Hospitals, Arne Bjornberg, publisher of the European Health Consumer Index and Ciaran Breen Director of the State Claims Agency.
The CEOs of major private health insurers, John O Dwyer of VHI, & Jim Dowdall of Irish Life Health addressed the conference which featured 200 delegates from private and public healthcare systems.
The conference also showcased technologies and innovations only available in the private system in Ireland.