3 out of 3 for the HSE
The HSE has been on the receiving end of a lot of negative press over the past few years and is almost a daily subject in the news, often criticised for its cutbacks and shortfalls. It is often portrayed as an inefficient and bureaucratic organisation and has been linked with serious health scandals such as cancer misdiagnoses and service cancellations. However, users of the service are mostly happy with the level of care and treatment that they receive.
This has been an HSE week for us. We happened to receive three different appointments which co-incidentally fell on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The first appointment was on Tuesday and was for my 8 year old Lily who needs some help with her “S” sounds. They offered her a group speech therapy session (which consisted of 4 children) and there will be 4 sessions in total. I was quite impressed with the speech therapist and admired the way she dealt with the kids in a situation that would have had me cringing with embarrassment . I could never over-emphasise like that, with all the exaggerated facial expressions, (so that the kids could get a feel of how the letter should be formed) in front of complete strangers. I would feel too ridiculous! I was impressed by how quickly Lily picked up the correct sound by watching the therapist and imitating her in lip placement etc. Wow, great job.
The Next appointment was also for Lily and it was an Occupational Therapy Assessment. Lily has proprioception (which basically makes her very clumsy and accident prone) and she responded very well at the HSE early intervention clinic for the U7’s. However, now that she is too old for that clinic, she has to be re-assessed. I booked her out of school for the 10.30 appointment and presumed it would be about 50 minutes long. The senior occupational therapist who carried out the assessment was so child-friendly, age-appropriate, accommodating and professional that I was quite humbled by her thoroughness. Lily’s fine motor skills, gross motor skills, tactile processing, visual motor skills, oral motor skills, sensory processing skills and all sorts of things were evaluated and looked into. All these observations were made in order to find the correct tools and procedures to make Lily’s life a little easier (and less accident prone) and as a parent sitting in on the assessment, I felt a surge of gratitude that this kind of help is available – that there are people with such great levels of interest and ability “working on our case.” When the appointment was over, I was astounded to see that it had lasted almost 2 hours!
The third appointment (and less popular with the kids due to its content) was for my 12 year old daughter who got her call up papers for the Diptheria and Tetanus booster vaccination. She narrowly escaped on account of having come down with a cold and accompanying temperature – she will be recalled to the March clinic.
The HSE (Health Service Executive) is Ireland’s public healthcare provider and offers both health and social services for people. The Executive came into operation on the 1st January 2005 as a national organisation to replace the ten regional Health Boards, the Eastern Health Authority and a number of other different agencies and organisations and to incorporate them into one umbrella group. This makes the HSE the largest employer in the country with over 100,000 employees and another 40,000 in funded health care organisations. The Minister for Health and Children has overall responsibility for the HSE at government level and juggles an annual a budget of over €14 billion Euros.
The HSE provides a huge number of services to the public such as services for addiction, cancer, disability, mental health, public health, primary care, maternity care and child and family services to name but a few. For a comprehensive range of what the HSE has to offer in your area visit www.hse.ie