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Voice of the IRISH SUNDAY Mirror: No wonder hospitals are in crisis.

IT is shocking that just two miles from a busy, overstretched A&E hospital, a publicly owned clinic lies unused.

While St Vincent's in South Dublin struggles to cope, the Vergemount Clinic staff must hardly know what to do with themselves they have so few patients.

It is no wonder the health service is in crisis if this is how precious resources are utilised.

Vergemount obviously couldn't be used as an acute hospital but surely it could be utilised in some way by other Dublin hospitals.

Empty wards and empty beds could be used for post-operative care, for example, freeing up beds in acute hospitals for urgent cases.

Convalescence is a vital part of a patient's recovery but it does not need to be mean it effectively becomes bed-blocking.

Moving such patients would take people off trolleys and into beds, easing the congestion faced by many in urgent need of care.

Is the Vergemount Clinic the only underused public health facility in the system? Are there others, across the country, perfectly placed to help out a nearby major hospital?

The fiasco shows just how chronically mismanaged the health service is.

It is a waste of public money to allow resources to be badly and inefficiently used in this way.

Someone must take stock of what facilities are available where and how they can best be used.

Someone needs to step back and look at the bigger picture and work with the health professionals and managers to ensure an effective, efficient service.

Over to you, Minister Harney.
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Title Annotation:Leaders
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 18, 2007
Words:256
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