Doctor's greed defended by Fine Gael

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.

Copy to:
Dr. Reilly

2 thoughts on “Doctor's greed defended by Fine Gael”

  1. I don’t believe Dr. Reilly has a case to answer. At the time of the negotiations he was responsible for getting the best deal he could on behalf of the country’s doctors (which is exactly what he did). Had the government not rushed headlong into a rash, vote-getting decision without first entering into discussions with medical professionals, they may have been in a stronger negotiating position from the outset.

    While the per-patient fee doctor’s receive could be viewed as excessively high, and in light of current economic situations should be open to re-negotiation, it is worth noting that the agreed fee was the product of negotiation. The government clearly considered it a reasonable deal if they were willing to accept it.

    Of cours, when taken in the context of Bertie’s habit of throwing money at problems in an effort to keep everybody happy, this is hardly surprising.

  2. Don’t agree Ambassador,

    The Government had to agree with the deal because of the stupidity of McCreevy in publicly announcing the scheme before negotiations began.

    This put the doctors in a very strong position in which they had a clear choice. Accept a reasonable deal or use their strong position to rip off the State – We now know the choice they made. There’s no getting around this really.

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