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Another Week, Another Mess Another week has gone by and the two big topics of Brexit and the Childrens’ Hospital were discussed at length and we are no wiser now than we were last weekend. How can they continue to talk about Brexit when nothing is happening and how can the various media outlets keep rehashing what we already know? Many businesses are already feeling the impact of the uncertainty and are getting more nervous about what might happen especially with a ‘No-deal Brexit’. No matter what happens the tax payer will suffer in the long run. The Nurses strike was postponed to give time to debate the offer. Some nurses are against and some in favour but the Union will be holding information sessions with nurses to acquaint them of the details before the vote is taken. I do not understand the details of the offer but I just hope that it will attract nurses back to Ireland and convince those here to stay and work in our health services. It needs to improve the conditions for nursing staff if it is to do that and not just give a small increase in wages. Those conditions can only improve when we have more nurses and more beds to deal with the demands on the service. At the end of January there were 523,225 (over half a million) people waiting on their 1st Consultation and 72,027 waiting on the start of treatment. The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) has received an extra €20million this year to reduce the lists but although that is great for those who are assisted under the scheme it does nothing to improve the services for the thousands of others. The Private Health centres are the real winners here as it is more profit for them and their shareholder investors. There was a growing discontent among the public regarding the effect the Strike was having on patients and branches of the media was waiting for an adverse event to arise, where the strike could be blamed. Indeed, as we experienced when fighting for the maintenance of services in Monaghan General Hospital, a number of parts of the media seemed to be continually reporting in favour of the authorities and showing a negative bias against the campaign. The Government was quick to make use of this and their expensive communication officers were hard at work to point to the problems being caused by the nurses’ strike. However one must ask – did we hear them shouting as loud about the danger to patients who were on the waiting lists prior to the strike, nor did we hear them complain about the 300 needless deaths each year from overcrowding and delays in treatment due mainly to lack of staff and resources. Now that the strike is suspended temporarily perhaps the Minister, the Government, the media and the others who were vocal in the matter when the strike was on, will now shout as loud about the dangers of overcrowding, delayed diagnostics and treatment, stressed nurses trying to do their demanding jobs, and agency nurses and scarcity of GPs and lack of resources. The danger is just as acute now as it was before the strike, so it is imperative that we hear those voices demanding action and that we see action from Government and HSE to remove the danger before more people die needlessly. The Childrens’ Hospital saga continues and we just have to wait for the Commission of enquiry to report and tell us nothing more than we know, which is that we will have to pay the extra costs. However in the meantime the Government is raising the money from our taxes to pay the huge increases in costs. I cannot understand one item here. The original cost, when it moved to St. James’s site, was €670 million but has now increased to €2billion (approx. above or below). That means a shortfall or an INCREASE of €1.3BILLION and they are raising €100million this year, which will leave €1.2BILLION to be raised for the following years. Just imagine what we could have done with that money. Just imagine what we are going to have to do without in order to raise that extra cash? Just imagine the number of needless deaths due to lack of funds to provide the health services that are needed and all because ………? Despite all this, the building goes on and the money will be paid for a tertiary Childrens’ Hospital stuck in the Centre of a traffic jammed city with very expensive parking and meant for very ill children from the four corners of our island. God help those who have to get there in a hurry from any point in Ireland except Dublin but then is there anywhere worth talking about on the island except Dublin - sure who would live or want to live in rural Ireland?
Health Matters:
Nurses on Strike ……..  HERE Health Costs ………..…  HERE Healthy Matters  ……    HERE
Childrens Hospital    …………....     HERE Health Issues    ……..    ……..…     HERE Disaster Awaits Us   ………………   HERE
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