You could dedicate an entire blog to the mess the HSE is making of its brief.
While it is always ready to have a go at smokers and has endless funds for our persecution, the hospital waiting lists continue to lengthen and the delays in A&Es throughout the country have become the stuff of legend.
But in response to these crises the HSE sprang into action. Two years ago they drafted in outside advisors to tell them what they should know themselves anyway. Under the heading, Outside advisers to HSE received €1.5m, we are told they were hired to cut hospital waiting lists and A&E delays.
Dr Martin Connor, a UK expert, has been paid €544,520 since he took up the post in 2011. But he retains his position as a special adviser despite spending half of every month in California where he is doing research at Stanford University. The Manchester native, who is a former NHS manager, recently indicated he is to leave with nearly one year of his three-year contract to go.
And what about the company PA Consulting who got €429,241 for analysis of waiting lists while another UK expert Lis Nixon has been paid €253,166? They pocketed the dough even as the Indo reports that:
From December to the end of April the number of patients waiting longer than six months for hospital treatment jumped from 6,038 to 11,348. The number of patients waiting longer than 12 months for treatment went up from 36 to 653 during the same time. Those on waiting lists for treatment between nine and 12 months increased from 71 to 3,062. The entire waiting lists went up from 40,047 to 47,943 and the average delay extended to three months, compared with 2.5 months at the end of 2012.
It only makes you wonder what kind of fortunes these guys could have made if they had solved or even eased the problems they were hired to address. But as a wit said to me recently, "We are in the business of rewarding failure in modern Ireland." He may have a point there too!
So your humble scribe will now inform the HSE exactly where their problems lie. It begins with every GP in the country treating the local hospital as a free service to his practice. Visit any one of them with the slightest twinge and they will refer you to A&E for tests or X-rays. This re-directs almost every GP visit to the hospital.
Add to this the advertised scares about every little thing with the constant advice to "see your doctor" whether you have it or not, and you can quickly see where the deluge originates. The consultants have never been confronted properly and a hospital can come to a halt if they are all away at a pharma-sponsored conference.
Allied to this, each successive government continues to close wards and even whole hospitals. And sitting atop this unholy mess are the senior managers of the HSE itself, unaccountable, arrogant and incapable.
For a small fee I am prepared to expand on each of these problems and I even have solutions to each and every one them. And I'll even do it for half of what the HSE gave the part-time English guy.
I can't say fairer than that!