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Health and Empty Vessels

A few weeks ago local and national politicians were making loud noises about the state of our health services and lack of badly needed services in Monaghan General Hospital. 4 Extra Beds were promised months and months ago and were promised once again but not a sign of a bed. All we get is empty promises and more Valium tablets.

It is very clear that it is not the politicians who are running this country although that is why we elect them and that is why they can, at will, take as big a salary as they like and claim as much expenses as they like. They also do not take responsibility for the spending of our taxes but can deduct more and more from our salaries when and by how much they like and the increased deductions from our insurance premia is ample proof of that and we silently accepted that we should pay it. Every money that is owed by someone/anyone or by a business interest like banks or insurance companies, we are expected to pick up the tab and pay it back even though we had nothing to do with the expenditure. Very often too, it is those who are advising the Government on economic policy matters who cause the losses and yet Government still accepts their advice!!

If it is not the politicians who run the country who does? Is it the Civil Servants? Not really though they usually announce things as if it is they who are paying for what they tell us is going to happen.  They can sway things the way they want them when necessary and block/delay things they are not supportive of.

Is it the big businesses/corporations/organisations? Not totally but they do have a major say in decision making. If it benefits their business they will do their best to influence the decision makers in their favour and who can blame them for looking after their own business.

I am convinced that the most influential power in decision making in this country is The Media. Once the media takes up a story all of the above step up to exonerate themselves if it is a bad story and to take the credit if it is a successful issue. Eventually it will be left to the politician to explain and subdue the clamour for someone to take responsibility. The politician can make promises of what will be done and how this is all going to be solved and satisfy the media that they have it under control and are drawing up the fantastic plans which will ensure that this never happens again. Media satisfied or a new and better story arises and editors want more on the new issue and so it goes – once the new issue is taken on by a paper or radio or TV programme the old one is forgotten about and the promises are now made for the current problem ad infinitum but nothing changes.

Our health services are in total disarray with over 700,000 waiting on an appointment; overcrowding in wards and A & E’s; staff overworked and stressed; too few staff; staff emigrating; patients dying because of delay or lack of services; money being wasted; too many managers doing too little work; etc etc. but all we get are promises. Mary Harney stated that there was a National Emergency when numbers waiting for a bed rose to over 350 but now when it is over 500 there is still no solution to bring those numbers down quickly other than temporary efforts hoping that the good weather will keep people out of the A & E’s and wards.

A private visit as Minister (cannot understand what that is) was paid to Monaghan General Hospital recently (– a get in and get out quick visit) and promises made but not a word since. More pie in the sky and more Valium to keep us quiet for another while and the media has more important issues at the moment.