Driving health ministers into the bunker bad for everyone

Driving health ministers into the bunker bad for everyone

Freed from fighting fires over operational matters, those in charge could take the time to step back and look at the big picture – to the benefit of us all

Brian Cowen once memorably referred to the Department of Health as ‘Angola’, encapsulating in one word the perils of overseeing Ireland’s healthcare system. If it was an unfair statement to make, it was unfair to the people of Angola.

Cowen depicted a departmental terrain littered with unexploded ordnance. Such a dangerous landscape, his description implied, could trigger a ‘survive at all costs’ instinct in those chosen as minister. The portfolio usually involves a wildly...

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