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Disaster Awaits us -- Alarm Bells Are Ringing.  The people of Monaghan have for years now campaigned for Monaghan General Hospital and since 2002 The Community Alliance has made strenuous attempts to save the services in the hospital and, since 2009, to have badly needed services restored. Despite their endeavours and the efforts of elected representatives Monaghan General Hospital has depleted services, especially emergency services, and the people of Monaghan must take their chances on reaching a distant hospital in time. They have to join the long queues in other A & E’s in times of emergency, lie on trolleys waiting for a bed and/or suffer the pain and anguish as they wait for a call for their appointment. However the alarm bells are ringing and our Government has been made aware of another impending disaster but they do not seem to care. They are more determined to erect monuments, irrespective of cost and to shuffle the blame elsewhere, while they make empty promises. The original Childrens Hospital was costed at €460 million approx., then went to €670 when it was being moved to St. James’s, then to €950, then to €1.4 billion and now is estimated to be €1.7 billion but the real cost will likely surpass €2billion. It is a massive mistake but by hook or by crook it is going to be finished despite soaring costs. When the huge rise in costs was first noted was the time to pull the plug and put the hospital where it should be – outside of the capital or at least at Connolly Hospital. Our leadership tells us that we will be happy when the new hospital is finished and treating our children and ‘we will say it was all worth it’, ‘It will give the children of Ireland a world class health service’ – I would claim that the building will not provide the service but the quality of the service will depend on the quality of the consultants, doctors and nurses and ancillary staff hired to do the work and is there a chance that they will have just as big a problem finding staff for it as they have at the moment? What about  the families of those who die, in the meantime and afterwards, as a result of lack of services, which could have and should have been provided with all the extra millions that are now having to be added to the Childrens Hospital costs – will they be happy? I wonder would the families of children, now suffering terrible pain, and whose condition is accelerating downwards, be happier if the money was spent now on providing the services needed for their children urgently. Will all those who are waiting for treatment/surgery/appointments be happy to continue to wait because the extra millions have to be spent on the Childrens Hospital? Slainte Care is the current ‘buzz word’ and promises a new Health Care for our country but look at the priorities for 2019 –  1. ‘Decide the location of the new Major Trauma Centre in Dublin’ – Why in Dublin?? Will the people of Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Monaghan, Clare etc. be able to get there alive? This work will employ administrators but not doctors and nurses. 2. ‘14 more Primary Care Centres to be built all over Ireland’ -  more jobs for the administrators, designers, contractors, etc  and, if they are built, where will they get the doctors and nurses which they will need to provide the services in the Primary Care Centres or will the new Primary Care Centres turn out to be offices for administrators ? 3. ‘Commence mapping the infrastructure that exists in each region’ -  more jobs for administrators and it will take more than a year as it will only commence in 2019.  4. ‘plan how best we can support the services needed’ - more administration and it will be a plan like so many other plans that are gathering dust on shelves somewhere.  5. ‘decide the location for new elective and new community bed capacity’ - administrators needed to gather the facts and make the decisions but no plan to actually open these beds in 2019 and cannot do that as they do not have the nurses and doctors to look after the patients in those beds. 6.  ‘investigate how best to deliver enhanced diagnostics capacity in the community and hospitals’ – It would be useful to know but it will only be a ‘plan’ at best and more administration here. So we can be assured that those in administration are secure but who is going to implement changes that will benefit patients and where are the doctors and nurses and patients in all this - Little benefit in these priorities for them in 2019. Our first port of call is most often the GP but the development of Primary Care itself and the improving of conditions for GPs is not a priority in 2019 according to this list of priorities. So - What is this disaster? We are all well aware of the deplorable state of our Health Services as far as hospitals are concerned but our Primary Care system is about to explode and that is no exaggeration and County Monaghan, like with our hospital, is going to suffer the greatest disaster. The people of Monaghan need to listen to the warnings and the people of Monaghan need to start fighting for our local doctors now. We have been warned that the GPs in the county cannot take on new patients as they are struggling to cope with their present numbers. It has been impossible to attract new doctors to our county. More work has been heaped on our GPs over recent years without any extra resources, or any compensation, or in some case, any consultation. Our GPs are at breaking point and many young doctors are fleeing the country and Monaghan will be the last place any of those who remain will want to be. Those who do remain will have to refer patients directly to the nearest A & E as they will have no time to see them. This will add to the existing mayhem, chaos, and overcrowding in the A & E. Consultants tell us that on average 300 people die each year as a direct result of overcrowding and delays in our A & Es so we can expect that number to skyrocket. The time for promises and plans is long past and the Government needs to take action immediately or it will be too late. So far, all we have heard are promises but now we need action. They have allowed the problem with nursing to spiral out of control, they have allowed our ambulance services to become depleted, they cannot get nurses and young doctors to stay and work in Ireland, they cannot get the badly needed 500 consultants, they have allowed Primary Care to be swamped with numbers and heaped more work on the GPs, they have no money to pay for drugs that people need to stay alive, they have no money to provide timely and accessible services to the people of this country but they have money to spend on many other things that are much less important and less beneficial to the people of Ireland and rural Ireland in  particular. The message is – stop building monuments, stop wasting our money and start providing proper health services, instead of leaving it to the voluntary sector and the generosity of people to provide services, which the HSE should be providing. We in Monaghan considered it a terrible loss, when the services were removed from Monaghan General Hospital, but it is nothing to what is coming down the line unless our Primary Care is properly restored and action taken immediately. The bells are ringing loudly. If they do not hear them we need to ring louder and our public representatives need to tackle the massive problem heading in our direction. Peadar McMahon
All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Disaster Awaits us -- Alarm Bells Are Ringing.  The people of Monaghan have for years now campaigned for Monaghan General Hospital and since 2002 The Community Alliance has made strenuous attempts to save the services in the hospital and, since 2009, to have badly needed services restored. Despite their endeavours and the efforts of elected representatives Monaghan General Hospital has depleted services, especially emergency services, and the people of Monaghan must take their chances on reaching a distant hospital in time. They have to join the long queues in other A & E’s in times of emergency, lie on trolleys waiting for a bed and/or suffer the pain and anguish as they wait for a call for their appointment. However the alarm bells are ringing and our Government has been made aware of another impending disaster but they do not seem to care. They are more determined to erect monuments, irrespective of cost and to shuffle the blame elsewhere, while they make empty promises. The original Childrens Hospital was costed at €460 million approx., then went to €670 when it was being moved to St. James’s, then to €950, then to €1.4 billion and now is estimated to be €1.7 billion but the real cost will likely surpass €2billion. It is a massive mistake but by hook or by crook it is going to be finished despite soaring costs. When the huge rise in costs was first noted was the time to pull the plug and put the hospital where it should be – outside of the capital or at least at Connolly Hospital. Our leadership tells us that we will be happy when the new hospital is finished and treating our children and ‘we will say it was all worth it’, ‘It will give the children of Ireland a world class health service’ – I would claim that the building will not provide the service but the quality of the service will depend on the quality of the consultants, doctors and nurses and ancillary staff hired to do the work and is there a chance that they will have just as big a problem finding staff for it as they have at the moment? What about  the families of those who die, in the meantime and afterwards, as a result of lack of services, which could have and should have been provided with all the extra millions that are now having to be added to the Childrens Hospital costs – will they be happy? I wonder would the families of children, now suffering terrible pain, and whose condition is accelerating downwards, be happier if the money was spent now on providing the services needed for their children urgently. Will all those who are waiting for treatment/surgery/appointments be happy to continue to wait because the extra millions have to be spent on the Childrens Hospital? Slainte Care is the current ‘buzz word’ and promises a new Health Care for our country but look at the priorities for 2019 –  1. ‘Decide the location of the new Major Trauma Centre in Dublin’ – Why in Dublin?? Will the people of Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Monaghan, Clare etc. be able to get there alive? This work will employ administrators but not doctors and nurses. 2. ‘14 more Primary Care Centres to be built all over  Ireland’ -  more jobs for the administrators, designers, contractors, etc  and, if they are built, where will they get the doctors and nurses which they will need to provide the services in the Primary Care Centres or will the new Primary Care Centres turn out to be offices for administrators ? 3. ‘Commence mapping the infrastructure that exists in each region’ -  more jobs for administrators and it will take more than a year as it will only commence in 2019.  4. ‘plan how best we can support the services needed’ - more administration and it will be a plan like so many other plans that are gathering dust on shelves somewhere.  5. ‘decide the location for new elective and new community bed capacity’ - administrators needed to gather the facts and make the decisions but no plan to actually open these beds in 2019 and cannot do that as they do not have the nurses and doctors to look after the patients in those beds. 6.  ‘investigate how best to deliver enhanced diagnostics capacity in the community and hospitals’ – It would be useful to know but it will only be a ‘plan’ at best and more administration here. So we can be assured that those in administration are secure but who is going to implement changes that will benefit patients and where are the doctors and nurses and patients in all this - Little benefit in these priorities for them in 2019. Our first port of call is most often the GP but the development of Primary Care itself and the improving of conditions for GPs is not a priority in 2019 according to this list of priorities. So - What is this disaster? We are all well aware of the deplorable state of our Health Services as far as hospitals are concerned but our Primary Care system is about to explode and that is no exaggeration and County Monaghan, like with our hospital, is going to suffer the greatest disaster. The people of Monaghan need to listen to the warnings and the people of Monaghan need to start fighting for our local doctors now. We have been warned that the GPs in the county cannot take on new patients as they are struggling to cope with their present numbers. It has been impossible to attract new doctors to our county. More work has been heaped on our GPs over recent years without any extra resources, or any compensation, or in some case, any consultation. Our GPs are at breaking point and many young doctors are fleeing the country and Monaghan will be the last place any of those who remain will want to be. Those who do remain will have to refer patients directly to the nearest A & E as they will have no time to see them. This will add to the existing mayhem, chaos, and overcrowding in the A & E. Consultants tell us that on average 300 people die each year as a direct result of overcrowding and delays in our A & Es so we can expect that number to skyrocket. The time for promises and plans is long past and the Government needs to take action immediately or it will be too late. So far, all we have heard are promises but now we need action. They have allowed the problem with nursing to spiral out of control, they have allowed our ambulance services to become depleted, they cannot get nurses and young doctors to stay and work in Ireland, they cannot get the badly needed 500 consultants, they have allowed Primary Care to be swamped with numbers and heaped more work on the GPs, they have no money to pay for drugs that people need to stay alive, they have no money to provide timely and accessible services to the people of this country but they have money to spend on many other things that are much less important and less beneficial to the people of Ireland and rural Ireland in  particular. The message is – stop building monuments, stop wasting our money and start providing proper health services, instead of leaving it to the voluntary sector and the generosity of people to provide services, which the HSE should be providing. We in Monaghan considered it a terrible loss, when the services were removed from Monaghan General Hospital, but it is nothing to what is coming down the line unless our Primary Care is properly restored and action taken immediately. The bells are ringing loudly. If they do not hear them we need to ring louder and our public representatives need to tackle the massive problem heading in our direction. Peadar McMahon
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