Tuesday, February 20, 2007
The Hospital Consultants of Death
Now, this is a little different. Nothing to do with Michael McDowell, and a complement for his party colleague and erstwhile nemesis, Mary Harney. The hospital consultants.
Back in 1999, the consultants voted unanimously in favour of hiring more consultants. In 2004, Harney allegedly drew the battle lines with the consultants because they were bottlenecking the system and not delivering enough into public practice. They threaten industrial action over insurance, and then disciplinary procedures. Further problems arise over the HSE's refusal to offer new 'hybrid contracts', allowing consultants to work as much as they like (pretty much) in private hospitals, reinforcing the two tier system.
Here's the thing. Irish Hospital Consultants run a cartel. They are all earning three, four hundred thousand euros a year, because there are not enough of them, and because they protect their cartel status. And they even have a union - I mean, if you thought the ESB was bad, with average wages of around 80K per annum, these guys are nuts!
In ye olde times, gentlemen became either barristers or consultants, they were the only two professions that were respectable. (Barristers are going to get it in the neck shortly as well, as soon as McDowell gets one in the ear) Consultants don't work for anyone, essentially, they work for themselves. And so do barristers. There is a niceness to it all that is a sickening throwback to empire and class. It does two things - it makes the consultants very, very rich, and it protects their riches from encroachment by the great unwashed. Similarly, that layer of arbitrary protection compromises the health service, and because of their greed people die.
These consultants are earning millions, millions, millions of taxpayers money in most cases, and they are taking the money and letting people die. Brian Cowen knew it, and ran away from what he called 'Angola'. Mary Harney had the cohones to take them on, and has done so. Fair play to her, I hope she bursts them good and proper.
One final spit-in-the-eye from the IHCA - on the website, the following is what they are about:
The Association was established to promote, encourage and support the advancement of the practice of Medicine, in all specialties and areas, and the improvement of the Health Services in Ireland.
What a load of absolute horse shit. There. I did it. The first swear word on my blog. The secondary 'oh, by the way, we also dabble in a bit of this' line is the following:
It also seeks to promote and protect the interests of Medical and Dental hospital consultants in Ireland.
Does it really? Here's the thing. The only thing that this organisation is about is representing their interests, protecting the cartel, assuring their futures and keeping riff-raff out of the profession. And as for the 'practice of Medicine'? Well, their steadfast defence of their cartel has resulted in people dying. Where's your hypocratic oath now? Shoved up the fat arse of Mr. I-Don't-Give-A-Flying-Fiddlers-Fuck-How-Many-People-Die consultant.
More rage. And not even a mention of McDowell, apart from the mention at the start that it had nothing to do with McDowell.