The CEO of Northwell Health, an American healthcare provider, has said that Ireland must get better at prioritising customer service in its system.
The task of modernising Irish healthcare is grand, but Michael Dowling believes Ireland could learn a lot by looking across the pond.
He joined The Pat Kenny Show to discuss what changes he would like to see Ireland adopt.
Northwell Health is New York's largest provider of healthcare.
While Mr Dowling believes there's "no perfect system", he has a few criticisms of attitudes in Ireland.
"One comment I have about the Irish system is that they have an addiction to hospital care."
"More and more care is moving out of the hospital, into outpatient locations."
He believes Irish people need to "get away from deciding that everything should just be inside the hospital".
One benefit of moving things out of hospitals is that it would "decentralise access to care", potentially providing treatment nearer people's homes.
Mr Dowling said that the Irish "have to be fanatical about customer service", focusing on the public instead of healthcare staff and those at the top of healthcare organisations.
Eliminating waiting lists, he said, should be a priority.
"If you reorganise care the right way, it eliminates some of the bureacracy."
"I think there is enough talent all over the country to be able to provide care in a much better way."#
Mr Dowling believes that it is an "exaggeration" to say that getting sick in America means going broke in the pursuit of healthcare.
This narrative, he says, is pedaled by those wishing for the government "to take over" healthcare.
"I think the system [in the States] works pretty well."
Mr Dowling conceded: "There has to be universal access to coverage for everybody."
"But access to coverage is not the same as access to care."
"You can be covered for care but then you have to wait a year to get it. It makes no sense."
'Centres of excellence'
"You can have regional centres of excellence. It doesn't all have to be in one location", Mr Dowling said.
"Cancer care, by the way, is primarily outpatient."
He said that treating all cancer patients in the hospital is "clogging up hospital beds with people who should not be in the hospital".
This, he said, is exacerbating "the wait list problem".
Listen back to the full conversation here.
Main image shows a medical stethoscope and minor injuries items a healthcare or well being concept.