Picking up this week's health crisis

IT says much about the state of things at Health & Social Care that the timing of its president’s six-monthly public update was dominated by this week’s cause celebre, and not that of two weeks ago.

Earlier this month domiciliary care was in crisis, with care packages for individuals slimmed down or cut completely. But that didn’t even rate a mention yesterday for deputies queueing up to quiz HSC’s once-reluctant (maybe he still is?) president Deputy Al Brouard, primarily about charging cancer patients attending A&E.

Every issue in health is emotive. All of them are tough for politicians to deal with. It’s why Policy & Resources’ first intention to cut back on expensive and potentially life-saving NICE TA drugs, contained within the first iteration of the Government Work Plan, lasted about as long as the original tax review proposals.

It’s why Deputy Brouard was repeatedly telling colleagues yesterday he’d support them if they wanted to introduce an NHS-style health service. But it wouldn’t solve our health (service) problems. It might just make HSC’s life a little easier.

At one time this Health board may have been facing a confidence vote. Today, that feels pointless. The issues are so deep-rooted, problems so vast, that even with a willing workforce, no cash-strapped political board could fix them. When Deputy Brouard next faces the States, the issue at the top of the pile may be different, but the list below them won’t.

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