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Mater Misericordiae Hospital. Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. Annual report. 1991.Preparing a report for the Annual General Meeting normally provides an opportunity to review, to take stock, to report, to evaluate, to make predictions, to express aspirations and hopes for the year ahead. In particular, it provides an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts and contributions of those who constitute the team on which the organisation and delivery of the hospital's services depend. As all here are aware, the delivery of health care services in recent years has been influenced by a superabundance of paradoxical policies, approaches, and recommendations from various sources. While very good reasons may be given for these, it would be true to say that their consequences have proved distressing, disturbing, and in some cases, incomprenhensible. Contrary to all the predictions, a number of facts clearly remain: Sickness is still with us. The number of those requiring the service has not abated. The cost of providing the service continues to escalate, a factor which leaves no flexibility or room for creative options, but creates instead an insurmountable and untenable position for the providers of the service. The expectations of the public continue to rise with the more frequent publication in the media of developments in medical science, medical technology, and new treatment techniques. Despite all the pressures, health care staff continue to impress those who come under their care with their professionalism, skill, efficiency, dedication, and patience - frequently in the face of the most frustrating and provocative circumstances. The annual report presented for adoption at today's meeting certainly supports these statements. Sr Margherita. Executive Chairman of the Board of Management.