Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Why the HSE briefing strategy is a goer

April 29th, 2009 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

When I heard about the HSE briefing opportunities for key media informers I was mildly impressed. Ok so I wasn’t too keen on Gerald Kean, but I  think that it is a good idea for people who ‘talk’ about issues on the media to be informed about the issues and many companies and private lobby groups do this all the time.  Listening to radio and watching television discussion programmes I am frequently enraged by the amount of bullshit key commentators come out with on health service issues.

I was impressed this morning by the HSE strategy because most of the people who talk about the HSE and how terrible it is wouldn’t know a waiting list or a public hospital ward or public health nurse. They are far more likely to be private health care consumers and would not know much about the way in which public health services are delivered to the 50% of the population (including yours truly) who wait for treatment and share resources or are sick.

I think that the HSE need to look at who they are talking to and talk to some bloggers! And I think they need to do some listening!  First in the queue would be someone like Steph from The Biopsy Report – an ‘expert by experience’ who is the most knowledgeable person blogging on the health service and health policy in the Republic.

The HSE said today it talks to patient advocacy groups also – but I’m one of the people that would be first to say that they are very last century  in terms of their reach and remit.  Instead it’s time to talk to Red Mum about the cervical cancer vaccine issue and the thousands of people she gathered together on Facebook.

Many other people blog about health and the health of their children – they have audiences and they have ideas. There are online spaces including, facebook groups etc. which the HSE need to monitor and listen to and give people the chance to ask questions and become informed about health policy and health service delivery.

These are the spaces which are the most active whereas I belive the patient advocacy groups are small confined and closed spaces providing a few people with jobs claiming to represent others.  The new media are the new key informers and the communications officers in the HSE need to catch up fast in informing and being informed by those who are experts in experience as service users and commentators online.



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