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Health Scandal

The scandal of the health services in this country continues to grow and our Government does not seem to know, or indeed one would think, be interested in solving the problems. The real problem can be summed up by saying that it all stems from the fact that we do not have enough Consultants, Doctors and Nurses and too many managers and assistant managers and no one that can be held responsible for the waste of money and the unacceptable medical care provided for patients.

I have been constant in saying that the Government must sit down with the Consultant, Doctor and Nurses Unions to discover what is needed to entice them to stay in this country and to work in our Health Services. It is obvious to me that the HSE as set up during Mary Harney’s reign has been a total disaster for the patient. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians comes to mind. So what do we need it for? What is the Department of Health doing? Should it not be part of their duties to run our health services? No one seems to know where the billions of euro, which goes to Health each year, is spent. Surely we as the tax payers should be able to find out. Surely those we elect to look after our interests should know how our taxes are being spent and wasted? Surely we should stop electing them and paying them if they are not doing the job. That is where we need to start. Let’s get rid of the chaff in Government and get people in there who will do the job properly and be accountable to us for what they do and what they don’t do.

So in health what do we need them to do? Find out how to retain our consultants, doctors and nurses and bring in a set of conditions that will be attractive to them to stay and work in Ireland. We need more GPs as even now we have too few to deal with demand. So many GPs could do so much more if the load was spread. Then let’s put services into hospitals where there is capacity and get the consultants, doctors and nurses to provide those services. Put the treatment of the major medical conditions in the tertiary high-tech hospitals and have much more of the intermediate and minor level conditions treated in the second level hospitals. Make our health services more patient orientated and patient centred rather than a business to make money.

Get our systems set up and working properly so that we do not have to pay out huge sums to Private Medicine when we can do the job just as well and cheaper by managing our public service properly. An Irishman man called Gerry Robinson showed the English National Health Service how a hospital can be run and provide excellent treatment to patients and save money – all at the same time. We need a man like that to come to Ireland and show us how to do it here. Our Government would rather pay huge sums to ‘consultancy firms’ to hold ‘reviews’ and produce glossy Reports all of which cost a fortune and then gather dust on a shelf somewhere but nothing changes.

Almost 1 million patients are waiting on an appointment at the moment and the number is increasing by the day. Numbers of trolleys has not reduced and it is Summer time. Overcrowding in wards and A & E’s around the country is causing the deaths of at least 300 people per year. Hundreds of qualified medical personnel are leaving our shores to provide excellent care to patients in other countries. GPs and nurses are overworked, stressed and liable to make mistakes as a result. All this and what is our Government doing about it. They talk the talk and make great sound bites and make promises but those poor patients lavishing on waiting lists, lying on trolleys, waiting for treatment in a ward, dying as a result of delayed treatment and added infection are just statistics it seems and kept under cover until the media highlights it every so often and then the promises are made again. Surely it is time the people of this country did something about it. Has anyone any suggestions? I would love to hear them.