Independent health experts say their profession has been under attack for too long by the medical establishment.
Independent health experts have blamed the health service for a lack of transparency, for having too many specialists, for treating too few patients and for the reluctance of doctors to prescribe new treatments.
The medical profession’s main opponent is the government, which is seeking to force doctors to sign off on any new treatments they prescribe.
The Independent Health Association (IHA) has urged the Government to hold the first ever Independent Advisory Committee on the Medical and Dental Services (ICADS) in March.
IHA chief executive David Murray said doctors are increasingly wary of the current health system because of its poor track record of delivering care and because of a lack in the profession’s transparency.
He said the ICADS would provide a more transparent forum for doctors to speak out.
The ICAOS will have the authority to recommend new treatments and will have to report back to the Government on its findings and recommendations.
“We want to make sure that doctors are confident that the NHS is a place where patients are protected, safe and cared for,” he said.IHA has been campaigning for ICAOTS for a decade.
Its director general, Dr Peter Coughlan, said the committee was the best possible way to protect the integrity of the medical profession and ensure its future.
Dr Murray said he was not surprised by the backlash, given that the IHA has long been the only organisation in Ireland that has been opposing the Government’s proposals.
He said doctors were wary of being seen as biased or in the pockets of politicians.
This is not the first time doctors have voiced their views.
In 2016, the IMA’s chief executive, Dr Clare O’Brien, urged the State to stop using the term “bastard” in public health and instead refer to it as the “brave new world” of alternative medicine.
Earlier this year, Dr Murray said that doctors had become more cautious about prescribing new treatments in the past two years because they were concerned about the Government taking over the profession.
That prompted the IHRA to call for a review of how the system operated, to examine its role in delivering care, and to ensure that the system had become safer.
The report of the IGADS has been commissioned by Health Minister Leo Varadkar and will be released to the public at a later date.