Fine Gael health spokesman Dr. James Reilly just couldn’t bring himself to admit the reality of his situation on the Marian Finucane Show on Sunday.
It was Dr. Reilly who negotiated the grotesquely greedy deal that saw doctors receive €640 for every patient over the age of 70. Now he’s trying to condemn the Government for attacking the elderly while at the same time defending his part in the deal.
When asked did he think the fee was a valid one he replied:
“I do because it works out at €55 per patient per visit and that is not excessive in my view.”
This was a cynical attempt to suggest that the fee is dependant on patient visits. In fact the €640 is paid whether or not a patient visits. I assume the €55 fee Reilly mentions is an additional fee for every visit making the deal even more objectionable.
On Liveline during the week another doctor moaned about overheads in an attempt to justify the greed. A doctor’s receptionist told me recently that her pay is so low she qualifies for a doctor only card.
Reilly would be better advised to come out straight and admit that doctors, like most other professions in Ireland, have lowered their moral standards in exchange money.