Comment: Thanks to the family from North Monaghan who contacted us as a response
to the article below. Theirs was also a harrowing situation and one that could have
had more serious outcomes than thankfully happened. We wish the patient a speedy
recovery and hope that they all get over the trauma very quickly. These situations
are happening more often than reported to the Press and even those who are reported
are wonders for as long as the media run with the story but as soon as it dies down
in the media the response from authorities dies down as well and goes on to the next
crisis. As in the case reported by Cll.Coyle, the ambulance personnel and the person
who received the 999 call were excellent and did their job in so far as they were
able in the circumstances but the main cause for concern is the fact that there was
no ambulance available in County Monaghan and it would take over an hour to get one
to the scene and this was during daylight hours. This is totally unacceptable and
far from the promises made to us by the various parties who took the services away
from Monaghan Hospital but worse is to come if the CEO gets his way and closes more
A & E's. The Community Alliance has decided that the people of Monaghan deserve proper
services both in emergency and non-emergency situations and that our representatives
need to step up to the plate with Alliance support to get what is our right and to
prevent any more needless deaths.
If you have a story and are willing to share it with the Alliance so that it can
be used to put pressure on the authorities then please get in touch with us here.
Delays Example: Cllr. Seamus Coyle's story regarding the delays in getting ambulances
to emergencies in the Ballybay area are frightening, or should be, for the people
of North Monaghan. One took an hour and 15 minutes to reach Main Street, Ballybay,
and the other got lost on its way from Shercock/Monaghan Town?? to an emergency in
Latton and eventually got there in 1 hour 23 minutes? These are very disturbing stories
and the details, as given by Cllr Coyle, must be addressed by the authorities but
I would not hold my breadth. There have been a number of incidents in Monaghan and
North Monaghan which should have resulted in changes but there have been no changes
and it is 'pot luck' if you succeed in getting an ambulance to your emergency in
any kind of appropriate time. If we add in the extra mileage that the ambulance coming
from Navan to Ballybay had to negotiate if the emergency had been in Mullan or Clara
then we would be faster putting the patient into a car and heading off to hospital
ones self but that is not a feasible solution - we depend on the ambulance and the
paramedics that come with it. Add in as well the fact that the road to Cavan is via
a detour for a month soon and your chances of survival are now approaching ZERO.
Then if, as Cllr Coyle states, the people at the scene were told not to use the Defib
then questions must be asked as to why they have promoted this option round the country.
I must ask why I trained as a Defib operator if I should not use it when a person
has a heart attack. The Air ambulance was deemed to be, and the public were led to
believe, that it would solve all problems for patient transfer to a hospital in record
time but now we see its limitations and its remoteness from North Monaghan in times
of eemrgency. It is time for the Alliance to get back in action as behind the scenes
work is achieving nothing, our representatives are making no progress, and no one
is listening except for a day or two while the Media splash an incident on their
front pages. Indeed it is difficult to know who to turn to as our two main parties
are responsible for the removal of services from Monaghan and I don't hear any of
the leaders of either party thinking of reversing those decisions. Now we have the
CEO Tony O'Brien, coming out with a big plan to reduce the number of A & Es in the
country even further. The people making these decisions do not have to live with
the consequences as the people in rural parts of Ireland have to. It is a matter
of economics ruling the heath services and what may look good on paper may not be
in the best interest of the people it serves. But then if you have people worrying
about their health services they will not be causing problems in other areas - make
the people dependent and you can feed them anything.
How Much Should Progress Cost?
The plan is to close the Monaghan to Clones road for ONE MONTH from the 8th August
to 8th of September. Traffic travelling along the route between these dates will
be diverted. Cars travelling between Cavan and Monaghan will travel via the R188
to Cootehill and on to either Cavan or Monaghan. Traffic travelling between Clones
and Monaghan will be diverted via Swann’s Cross. This, of course, will be a major
inconvenience for people from Monaghan working in Clones/Cavan or people from Clones/Cavan
working in Monaghan. However progress always comes at a price and we have to be prepared
to pay the price if we want improvements.
So what price are we talking about here? Well there is the extra mileage causing
fuel bills to increase, there is the extra carbon emissions due to the extra travel,
there is the extra time needed to negotiate the extra mileage on roads that are not
particularly suitable to the amount of extra traffic now using them, there is the
extra wear and tear on the cars/vans/lorries, there is the extra damage that will
be done to the alternative routes which will require the tax payer to pay extra for
the repair, the inconvenience of having to get up earlier in the morning to get to
work and to arrive home later from work, there is the extra danger of vehicles travelling
too fast on roads not meant for the speed limits allowed (after all the great new
roadway from Monaghan town to Tydavnet Cross on the Emyvale road is an 80km limit
yet go on some of the local by-roads and you will find some of them 100km limit).
This is all well and good and can be suffered for the sake of progress even though
we will complain, unless of course there is a major accident on the alternative route.
However what about the people of North Monaghan who might require urgent emergency
hospital care? At the moment the times achieved by ambulances to get to a scene in
North Monaghan and have the patient transferred to Cavan within that ‘Golden Hour’
is not what you would call satisfactory or acceptable, even with the air-ambulance
– so what happens when they have to go the roundabout journey to get there? Are the
people of North Monaghan so unimportant that their lives can be sacrifice for the
sake of progress? Is it a case of – ‘I’m alright Jack, you get lost’? WE should put
the authorities on notice that every emergency call will be monitored and any needless
deaths, suffering or distress caused by ambulance delays will be acted upon. In a
work situation if a health and safety issue is removed, or changed, the Health and
Safety Authority would take action to ensure the safety of the workers or fines imposed.
Surely if the lives of the people of North Monaghan are put at greater risk by the
change of time it takes to get emergencies to hospital then action should be taken.
Emyvale Development Association suggests that the HSE/Monaghan Co. Co. should locate
an emergency ambulance at the Health Centre in Emyvale Enterprise Centre where they
already have rooms so that emergencies can get to hospital as least as fast as they
can at the moment, even thought that itself is unacceptable. We ask our local representatives
to make immediate demands of the HSE to have this in place prior to the commencement
of the work and the closure of the road. The people of North Monaghan have been totally
ignored in the ‘provision of better health services’ as promised by the current and
the previous two Governments. It is time that there was a change and we ask our politicians
to start doing something about it.