“I Made A Promise”


Paediatric radiologist Gabrielle Colleran, from Galway

Earlier today.

Paediatric radiologist Gabrielle Colleran, from Galway, recalled the death of her father and called for reform of the Irish health system – namely timely access to quality healthcare.

She wrote…

Gabrielle Colleran

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28 thoughts on ““I Made A Promise”

  1. Cian

    It is a great pity that the health system in Ireland continues to fail us. RIP to her father.

    “Some solutions are easy: end pay discrimination, reverse FEMPI.”
    The problem with her father was the lack of bed? no? So the solution is for the hospitals to open more beds (albeit the necessitating additional staff to look after the greater number of patients) rather than paying the existing staff more money.

    A personal anecdote: My mother had a lesion, was diagnosed with (probable) skin cancer, had surgery to have it removed, and has a follow-up on Monday to get the biopsy results (to see if it is cancer). All within the last 4 weeks (which, as you may recall, includes Christmas), all by the HSE, and all in the public system. I couldn’t fault them. Bravo for the HSE.

    1. harry

      your mother sounds like she “got in” in good time, and I’m glad for ye that was the case.

      my own experience is that they are fantastic once admitted. the real problem is getting admitted – getting seen in a&e and getting to a bed or getting to a bed on referral.

      so yeah, it’s beds and the staff to run them and a little bit of streamlining and collaboration.


      1. Cian

        Thanks harry.
        The only reason I mention it is that we hear about the 300 people on trolleys, but rarely about the 10,000s of patients getting proper treatment.

        1. harry

          yeah true, worthwhile calling out the good with the bad.

          an organisation has never been improved by repeatedly telling it how shit it is , positive reenforcement helps motivation

    2. Barry the Hatchet

      Poor pay for existing staff means difficulty recruiting, which means not enough staff, which means fewer beds available.

    3. rotide

      Both my parents had cancer issues, both of them got seen too fairly quickly and treatment started fairly fast.

      I’d agree totally with Harry that the real problem is in A and E, once you get into the HSE system they’re really really good.

      1. Cian

        Did you miss my first sentence? “It is a great pity that the health system in Ireland continues to fail us.”

        1. Clampers Outside!

          Probably couldn’t see through the red mist caused by someone praising their experience of good work by the HSE.

          Glad to hear of your good fortune.

  2. Andrew

    Powerful stuff.
    It’s incompetence mainly and also the quite frankly callous indifference many in our health care system have towards the taxpaying public.
    No minister has very been able to deal with it and you know why? Because if they actually did what is really necessary, there’d be strikes every single day of the week. This would be accompanied by whining articles calling for more money and how wonderful ALL of our primary care staff are. When they just aren’t.
    Reversing FEMPI wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference
    Many do not care. I’ve seen it, I know it, I’ve been at the heart of it.
    It boils my blood.

  3. andy

    Sorry for your loss, but a couple of points:
    – your colleagues in the US were incredulous that there was a delay in accessing healthcare? Irish healthcare is basically free. Immediate access & treatment in the US would costs $100,000’s to the patient/insurer. If they don’t have the money or insurance they don’t get it any faster than in Ireland.
    – Increasing doctors pay (FEMPI reversal) doesn’t increase any capacity in the system which seems to be the issue for your dad.

    1. Cian

      “For patients not covered by health insurance, the typical cost of brain tumor treatment can range from less than $50,000 for a small benign tumor in an accessible location that can be treated with surgery alone up to $700,000 or more for a malignant tumor that must be treated with some combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.”


      1. SOQ

        Have you looked at the price of private treatments here? It is an incredibly inefficient way of delivering healthcare. You have the treatment, the hospital nursing care, the administration AND… the profit margin, lets not forget about that.

        I am not saying that the British NHS should be cloned because it has its failings too, especially around the quality of diagnosis, but ‘not for profit’ should be a prerequisite or at least contacts which state that you cannot work in both sectors at the one time.

    2. Andrew

      Great points Andy. I empathize with this woman but she works in the system, and she is embarrassed when speaking to her American colleagues?? It demonstrates a remarkable level of ignorance of BOTH health care systems. This lack of awareness doesn’t surprise me.

  4. realPolithicks

    “If they don’t have the money or insurance they don’t get it any faster than in Ireland.”

    Thats not correct, anyone who presents at an emergency room will be treated regardless of having insurance or not. Also you would never find people lying on trolleys for days at a time.

  5. SOQ

    Just wondering, Does Gabrielle now work in the Irish system and does she work exclusively in the public?

  6. Ron Jeremy’s Stunt Double

    Cian did your mother go private or was she treated in a public hospital. I only ask as I have been treated great since I was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago. I am still undergoing treatment and in my case I am lucky to have VHI resulting in me being treated in a private hospital.

  7. baz

    If High earning stateside on your Irish tax payer funded education, many people I know in the same position pay for health insurance for their parents here… it’s a few grand a year for peace of mind.

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