We could have an excellent health service – if only we had no patients.

An old joke often told about our beloved health service is that it would be more proficiently run if it didn’t have to treat any patients.

Funding and planning healthcare in Ireland has always sounded better in theory than in practise and it seems to have always been that way no matter how well or badly the economy is doing.

The story remains the same and this is very apparent from the Health Service Executives (HSE) recent performance statistics.

Our ageing and sicker population really is very inconsiderate as they keep appearing at our hospitals looking for treatment at a huge expense to the public purse.

What has happened to Health Minister’s James Reilly’s other healthcare world where “Morris Minor” patients don’t go to “Ferrari” garages to be fixed. The idea is that these patients are treated locally which in turn is cheaper and if possible without a major hospital stay.

How inconsiderate of these people to keep arriving at major hospitals looking for treatment.

Already the health system has shed 8,700 staff/jobs since 2007.

Worryingly the latest numbers show that the HSE was in the red at a whopping €197.3 million at the end of April and hospitals were €106.2 million over budget. Are we surprised?

So where is our health service headed?

The answer is to stay healthy and stop looking for medical treatment.

We really could have an excellent health service if only we had no patients.

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