Friday, November 18, 2005

"€60 to visit Accident & Emergency!", the tabloid screams. Scandalous state of affairs, just what is this country coming to?

The problem with overcrowding in A&E is multifactored. One element of it is that many of those attending have not had an accident and most of the cases aren't emergency. The triage nurse has to prioritise precious medical resource and hence the less urgent cases sit in A&E for many, many hours. The situation is exaccerbated because rather than paying their GP €45-50 per visit, Joe Public waits until his ailment is so serious that he becomes an emergency admission.

The only way to stop this element of the problem is to make visiting your A&E less attractive or make going to your GP more so. We can either cut the price of visiting the GP or increase the cost of visiting the A&E department. I'd say why stop at €60? I'd happily pay twice that amount to be able to get emergency help when I need it.

We seem to know the price of everything and the value of nothing. In a society where a 16 year old will spend €300 on a mobile phone and €7.50 per drink, €60 to have your stomach pumped by a highly skilled clinical nurse seems great value for money. Ever tried taking your car into a garage to have its oil changed? Or get your wheel balanced? Here a semi-skilled apprentice will relieve you of at least €60 for the privilage. And while we are at it, why not make visiting A&E if your accident was alcohol-induced €500 per trip.

We might appreciate the boys and girls in the A&E as much as we do Dave in Quickfit and Sean in Pravda.


Blogger JL Pagano said...

I thoroughly agree, and I also hope that the extra money goes to the right place, ie, more staff and beds. I wonder if it will, though.

12:56 p.m., November 18, 2005  
Blogger Steven said...

I like that idea...

If it is alcohol related crank up the fee.

2:45 p.m., November 18, 2005  

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