Health system needs fixing

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Scott ''Thursday 9th January 2013 , Belfast, Northern Ireland''Staff Protest following Major Incident is declared at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast - RVH A&E''Pictures by Kevin Scott
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Scott ''Thursday 9th January 2013 , Belfast, Northern Ireland''Staff Protest following Major Incident is declared at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast - RVH A&E''Pictures by Kevin Scott

The health service is in near chaos. You’d need to know about two weeks in advance when you’re going to be ill.

Then you’d be able to book to see a doctor.

A medical team performing an operation

A medical team performing an operation

They’re flat-out with those who do manage, amazingly, to get past the receptionists when they don’t need to. And, if you turn up at A and E you’d want to write off as much time as Gerry Adams arriving at the PSNI’s serious crime “suite”. (Is it meant to sound like a posh hotel?) If you’re fortunate enough to call on a doctor only once in a blue moon, you’ve to endure being treated like a time-wasting chancer.

If you’re unfortunate enough to have cancer you can’t get the most expensive drugs but they’re available in England.

Now doctors want to charge patients to see them. Their suggestion is about as popular as posterior boils with Giro cyclists, but they’re right.

We need something to stop the attention-seeking hypochondriacs and the trivial ailment time-wasters running to the doctors’.

There’s a charge to see GPs in the Republic, for most people, and yet there’s no difference in the outcome for those with serious illness.

In return for a charge here, the GPs should be required to provide more out-of-hours services. People don’t just get ill during office hours and there are still a few folk who have to work during the day. This would reduce pressure on hospital A and E departments.

The system is broken. It needs fixing. If that means an unpopular charge, so be it.