Because of budget constraints, a hospital in Ireland has had to cut back expenditure.  An internal memo (according to the Irish Times) indicates that the hospital executive have decided to cancel all non-urgent elective work until the end of September, to bring its expenditure back to 2006 levels.

One of the doctors, Dr Varadkar, said the measures meant that patients would suffer and there was a risk that serious illness would not be detected at an early stage.

“The cutbacks are the second set of cutbacks at Blanchardstown Hospital this year and are by far the most savage. Essentially, the hospital has been forced to reduce its service back to 2006 levels in order to break even by the end of the year …

“Investigations requested by GPs to detect bowel and stomach cancers, Crohn’s and coeliac disease will be pushed back, reducing the likelihood of early diagnosis and intervention.”

Of course, everyone thinks that their own case is urgent, but this does seem short-sighted to me … surely early diagnosis and intervention is cheaper, in the long run, than letting these problems continue, and increasing the ill-health of the patients?