When Common Courtesy is not so Common
The dire conditions of Irish healthcare are sadly a cliché, but a new document sheds some light on an aspect of the system which is easily missed: a lack of common courtesy.
THE embattled Health Services Executive is receiving 400 formal complaints a month from disgruntled members of the public.
Poor treatment and bad-mannered health staff top the list of complaints.
A long-promised formal complaint system came into effect in January last year, in a bid to end the frustration felt by people who had tried and failed to get their grievances heard, sometimes being passed from one official to another.
The bad news, according to a separate report, is that as many as 6pc of files are going missing under the complaints process. A manual tracking system is now recommended to wipe this out.
In one instance, the local complaint officer had to review a complaint that involved an allegation against themselves.
There is a phrase often used in business that everybody knows, the customer is always right. Because so many people place a high value on politeness, courtesy, respect, and empathy, businesses which follow the above maxim and go out of their way to be nice will be rewarded. The formulation of appropriate customer satisfaction policies is one of the most crucial business actions, and like every other business action, is impossible without market mechanisms.
Thus, it is absolutely no surprise that the customer satisfaction policies of a public healthcare system such as ours would be grossly deficient. Existing as it does through taxation and regulation, its employees -regardless of their intentions – do not have access to a price structure which would inform them of how to act properly. The generalised inability of the public system to calculate is plain for all to see.