16 Jan 2022

Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: Ireland’s health service is definitely in crisis.

Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: Ireland’s health service is definitely in crisis.

Anybody heard about the trolley numbers in hospitals recently? Mmm. Me neither. Strange how the trolley numbers are presently off the headlines, convenient for the politicians however.

Mary Harney introduced us to the Health Service Executive (HSE), which has continued unabated under Fianna Fáil & Fine Gael during their respective times occupying the warm seats, before handing them back to one another.
Maybe neither want hospital beds mentioned.

Figures from Irish Nurses and Midwives organisation, showed that 492 were on trolleys last Friday, January 24 and 502 patients on trolleys on Monday, January 27. No information on ages of patients, however. Couldn’t access that.

In several hospitals patients were ready to go home, but couldn’t access a carer. Imagine, a patient who has been cured, still occupying the bed because no carer in their local community - this of course does not necessarily mean that they all live in rural areas! 

Meanwhile the HSE continues to hire ‘casuals’ for astronomical sums, while beds are blocked because enough carers don’t exist. Still, the powers that be, will maintain a balance on the books.

Also read: Longford's Meán Scoil Mhuire campaign for new school

In fairness, the HSE cannot get any idea, even yet, of what their budget will be for 2023 & 2024. So much for various promises.

For several years, the Government publicised one amount, yet were perfectly well aware that more would be needed. So every year we have a supplementary amount being needed. That way, it sounds as though the HSE didn’t ask for enough.
It’s a terrible game to play with people's lives.

The all party initiative called Sláinte Care is the greatest example of the Government's lax approach, and an indicator of Fianna Fáil’s own attitude to the same glowing plan. Sláinte Care has existed for three years now, yet hasn’t even done anything on year one's plans.

Nor have I heard any questions to Minister Simon Harris. Ireland’s health service is definitely in crisis.

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