Changes to HSE

Depressing to see that the best the Minister (for Health) can come up with is to reorganise the HSE.  This is typical of how we go about trying to solve problems in this country. We create new structures. No real thinking about trying to clear the bottlenecks that are in the system. Instead, create a new administrative structure and, ‘hey presto’, the various problems will be sorted. Basically, the Minister is, to use a current phrase, ‘kicking the can down the road’. This is what all politicians do. No doubt consultants will be hired to advise on the transition.

A few years ago, the BBC did an excellent program where a successful businessman (Gerry Robinson was his name I think, an Irish guy) who simply went into hospitals and talked to people at the coal face (not administrators and middle-managers) to see what could be done to eliminate bottlenecks. It led to significant improvements in throughputs without compromising quality. Basically, it was a bottom-up approach.

We need to do a lot more of this in all areas of the Public Sector, especially Health and Education. Too often, strategy groups are set up (containing senior managers in the 50+ age group) when really what we should be doing is talking to the people actually doing the work!


About Greg Foley

A lecturer in Biotechnology in Dublin City University for more than 25 years. Trained as a Chemical Engineer in UCD (BE and PhD) and Cornell (MS). Does research on analysis and design of membrane filtration systems.
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