Monday, 22nd January 2018
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Health

Catastrophe

Mary Harney, when she was Minister for Health, many years ago, declared that 300 people on trolleys in hospital corridors was a 'health crisis'. Now here we are in 2018 and we have nearly twice that number of people on trolleys within a hospital system that barely seems able to cope. The sad and infuriating thing about this, is that this is a yearly occurence where every winter ,just as the New Year is coming in, we find ourselves in the same position - every year.

The Government, of whatever colour, keeps on saying that it is going to do something to fix the situation but it never does, it just apologises, makes some contrite noises and hopes that things keep ticking over until the winter season is over. It doesn't matter the size of the hospital or the amount of people working there, it all seems to stay the same. Nothing gets done and nothing improves. What is worse is that it is the most vulnerable people in our society who are the ones that get the raw deal, the young and the old.

There is nothing worse than being ill enough to warrant being in hospital but to then find yourself in a corridor where people are constantly coming and going and there is the basic lack of the most essential services such as a toilet. It is no wonder that some people are saying that what is happening in our hospitals is akin to hospitals in third world countries.

There doesn't seem to be any planning or forward thought that goes into the way in which our hospitals are run. Then we were told late last week that there aren't even enough hospital consultants working in the evening to deal with the numbers that are waiting on trolleys in our hospitals. Maybe if performance related pay was introduced for managers in the hospital sector then we might see some difference in the way that things are run.

No one thinks that anyone in the system wants their hospital to be run in this manner, dealing with crisis after crisis but you do have to start somewhere in order to improve the situation. Ireland is a first world country and yes we all agree that there are still a lot of problems here but if we can't even sort out the most basic flaws in our health system then what hope do we have for anything else. What we are experiencing is a health catastrophe - short and simple - and if no where else the buck stops with Simon Harris our Minister for Health.

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