Ian Lawlor, Managing Partner, JPA Brenson Lawlor
The HSE has broken another record. In the last couple of days there are more people on hospital trolleys waiting to be admitted to hospital than ever in the history of the State. The numbers themselves are not huge which makes the inability of the State, or the State’s various health agencies, to find an end solution to this problem mystifying.
What FedEx can do
They say comparisons are odious, meaning we sometimes we compare apples with oranges to make an incorrect point. However, in this case, the size of the problem struck us as comparable. Every day the giant delivery firm FedEx, employing 400,000 people worldwide, successfully ships and deliver up to 13 million parcels every working day. At the same time Ireland’s HSE, employing a relatively chunky 100,000 people for a nation of our size, can’t find hospital beds for 677 people.
Counting - it’s what we do.
The HSE may say that you can’t put people in hospital beds that aren’t there. But wait. At JPA Brenson Lawlor we have a very close relationship with the nursing home sector and their representative organisation, Nursing Homes Ireland. The NHI boss, Tadhg Daly, says that his nursing home members have 1,400 beds available to move the less seriously ill out of hospitals and into nursing homes. Call me an accountant, but having done the maths I reckon that you could solve the bed crisis two times over by using nursing home beds.
Ho Ho Ho…it’s no laughing matter
The reference to FedEx is because I wondered about the physical logistics of moving people about. People are not boxes, we know. But FedEx has the software that can track a staggering 13 million, or almost 20,000 the number of patients that the HSE can’t seem to handle, every single working day, across the globe. The HSE has all winter to plan for moving their mere hundreds of charges. And it’s not like this problem creeps up on the HSE. It happens, just like Christmas, every year. So why, as soon as the HSE mandarins hear the first ‘Jingle Bells’ in the shops, don’t they give Tadhg Daly a call? He in turn can send an immediate call to his members to see who has vacancies and probably get back to the HSE within 24 or 48 hours with a complete answer.
A few massive insurance claims might focus minds
We are business advisors at JPA Brenson Lawlor and inevitably, on examining a business, you’ll always find some extra layers of warts that might throw your calculations, but our job is to always find a workaround solution. I’m sure there will be those who’ll say you can’t do X or Y for safety or medical reasons. My argument is, for those very reasons, medical and safety, affecting our citizens, it’s simply not acceptable to leave anyone on a hospital trolley.
The Minister should sharpen the toes of his boots.