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Kylie's Woe and its meaning for us

5.17.2005

Kylie’s woe may turn into something of a positive for education purposes in the area of breast cancer. While a number of teens would already be aware of the disease many will now be living through the stages in empathy with their pop idol.
Meanwhile our own breast check service is in some form of motion but still grossly underperforming on targets for its expansion. The rollout of BrestCheck needs to be increased, so too awareness of other silent killers. The health expenditure on projects like this is correct but as always more is needed.
We need a wholesale look at how we approach health care, in terms of treatment, diagnosis, patient after-care and also public education. Having seen the response of government to call for education we need to worry. The stock reaction is harvest it out to committee and draw up a module for inclusion in transition year studies. This model is, like many of our others, ineffective. We require a more rigorous approach to the health system of this country.
A few simple rules need to be complied with:
1. Health care must be free to those who require it, at the point of access.
2. Individuals must be given the best possible waits that are logistically feasible, that means good management and more facilities.
3. The public must become involved in the creation of a service to suit them. Specialist hospitals are great ideas in theory but most people have general illness requiring general treatment.
4. The system must be administrated by a body that is fiscally responsible and medically adept. There are a number of models of administration, of them renaming has been least effective (All health boards becoming HSE and staying the same.)
5. If a new method of taxation is required to finance this system then introduce it, also it is plausible to levy private insurance with some cost or impose a mandatory foundation insurance guaranteed by the state, private insurance is free to compete to offer top-ups or add-ons to the foundation, fundamental treatment. Cash follows the patient then into hospital budgets and hopefully into a better service.
6. Education needs to be wholesale and fundamentally useful. courses such as first aid are obviously effective but it may be required for ireland to introduce civic training as an obligatiory german style six month social work initiative. Familiarisation with health and health risks would be covered along wiht experience in the voluntary sector. Politics could lso be included as a means of explaining the power of a vote and the nature of our social structure. it need not be rocket science but iti s real life and far more so than some of the current Leaving Cert.
Meanwhile I wish Ms. Minogue all the best in her treatment and recuperation.
Red Rover

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