Archive for December, 2010

Greed and Need

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

The cost of medical consultants in Ireland is outrageous. Recently my son had a ten-minute consultation with a medical consultant. The bill was €180 and it will be a further €120 for a follow-up visit, which I expect to last another ten minutes. That’s €300 for twenty minutes’ work. Or €900 an hour. (Yes, the waiting room was full.) So for let’s say a gentle seven-hour day that would be €6,300 in one day! Let’s say he only did that four days a week, you’re looking at €25,200 per week! A 48-week (four-day week) working year would pull in a cool €1,209,600. 

What alternative do people have? To wait a year on the public health system? Parents need the reassurance of knowing if their children are alright. Thankfully, my son was fine. But I cannot help but wonder if the fees charged by medical consultants are a case of greed versus need. Patients’ need meets human greed.